The authorities in Iran say the death toll from an earthquake in the southeast of the country now stands at more than 500.

Rescue workers are being hampered in their efforts to reach the remote area. Poor weather conditions and blocked roads are being blamed for preventing rescuers from reaching the scene.

Over 600 people were injured in the quake overnight, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. 

Its epicentre was in the Kerman province, over 700km from the capital, Tehran.

Local authorities said that more than 30 villages were affected by the earthquake, including one with a population of 820 that was said to have been '100% destroyed'.

On St Stephen’s Day in 2003 in the same province, a stronger earthquake struck the city of Bam, killing 31,000 people.