TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) - At least 87 people were killed and another 400 were injured in two strong earthquakes that jolted northwestern Iran Saturday near the city of Tabriz, Iranian media reported.
The casualties were in the towns of Varxaghan, Ahar and Haris, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported, citing a crisis management office.
Officials feared the death toll would rise.
The first earthquake, a magnitude 6.4, hit at 4:53 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Just minutes later a second quake, measuring 6.3, struck.
The geological survey recorded five strong aftershocks.
The quakes affected Tabriz, the provincial capital of East Azarbaijan, and nearby cities. It razed four villages and another 60 villages sustained heavy damage, Fars said.
Initial reports said some buildings in Tabriz suffered structural damage and power lines were down. Telephone lines were down in Ahar. The extent of the damage was still being assessed.
Authorities dispatched rescue teams to Tabriz and Ahar as well as to the affected villages of Khormaloo and Harif, the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency said.
Iran sits on major faultlines and has been prone to devastating earthquakes.
In 2003, 30,000 people died in an earthquake in Bam in southeastern Kerman province. In 1990, about 50,000 were killed in a quake that hit near the Caspian Sea.