Iran sits across several major fault lines in the Earth's crust and is prone to frequent earthquakes [EPA]

A powerful earthquake has struck a mountainous area near a southern Iranian city, but there have been no reports of casualties or damages, Iranian state TV says.

"The quake took place at 1233 GMT near Firouzabad in the Fars province. It jolted the mountainous area,"  the official IRNA news agency quoted Tehran University's Seismological Centre as saying on Friday.

"So far there has been no reports of possible casualties," IRNA said.

The US Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.6 and said it was 10.1km deep.

Iran is criss-crossed by major faultlines and is frequently hit by earthquakes.

In 2008, a magnitude 6.1 quake struck Bandar Abbas, on the mainland near the southern Qeshm island, killing at least seven people and injuring 40 others.

An earthquake in 2003 flattened the desert citadel city of Bam and killed 31,000 people.

Source: Reuters