At least 66 people have been killed and over 1,200 injured in a powerful earthquake in western Iran.

The quake struck the province of Lorestan near the border with Iraq with a force of 6.0 on the Richter scale.

About 300 villages were affected, and local officials have appealed for blankets, tents and medical supplies to be sent to the region.

Iran sits astride several major faults in the earth's crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes. The worst tremor in recent times hit Bam in the south of the country in December 2003, killing 31,000 people.