View Full Version : Iran Earthquake Toll Could Reach 10,000

Dec 26th, 2003, 04:02 PM
Iran Earthquake Toll Could Reach 10,000

TEHRAN, Iran - A severe earthquake devastated the southeastern Iranian city of Bam on Friday, leveling more than half the city's houses and its historic mud-brick fortress. A preliminary estimate said the death toll could reach 10,000.

Hasan Khoshrou, a legislator for Kerman province where the quake occurred, said there was still no precise number of dead from the magnitude 6.7 quake, but officials working in Bam had given him that figure.

"The quake hit the city when most of the people were in bed, raising fears that the death toll may go higher," he said.

Officials surveying the city of 80,000 people from helicopter said about 60 percent of the city's houses were destroyed, Khoshrou said. Water, power and phone lines were cut. The earthquake struck at about 5:30 a.m.

Footage shot from a helicopter and aired on Iranian state television showed widespread devastation in Bam, with rows and rows of collapsed or damaged buildings next to others that appeared to be intact.

Images shot from a moving car, accompanied by somber music, showed some houses had been reduced to nothing more than piles of brick, while men near one builidng embraced each other, shaking and sobbing. Other footage showed dead and injured being brought into hospitals with crowds of people outside.

Reports said the earthquake destroyed Bam's medieval fortress, a massive, 2,000-year-old structure that sits on a cliff near the city and attracts thousands of tourists each year. The fortress includes scores of ancient mud huts.

"The historic quarter of the city has been completely destroyed and caused great human loss," said Mehran Nourbakhsh, chief spokesman for Iran's Red Crescent, the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake's magnitude was 6.7, capable of causing severe damage. It reported an aftershock of magnitude 5.4 about two hours later.

Authorities in Bam, 630 miles southeast of the capital Tehran, put out a call for blood donations.

"Many people have died," Kerman province Gov. Mohammad Ali Karimi told state media. "Many people are buried under the rubble."

Relief teams set up their headquarters in a public square in Bam because their offices in the governor's building had been ruined, Karimi told state radio.

Karimi said worried relatives from surrounding areas were heading to Bam and causing massive traffic jams that were slowing rescue efforts. He urged them to stay home and wait until phone service was restored to try to find relatives.

Authorities have sent numerous rescue workers with helicopters to the area, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"We are doing everything we can to rescue the injured and unearth the dead," television quoted Karimi as saying.

Turkey's NTV television channel said people were streaming out of Bam for the city of Kerman, 120 miles away, and had complained they had not gotten any aid.

About 500 people have been evacuated to hospitals in Kerman, where they are in critical condition, Iranian state television reported, quoting local authorities.

The United Nations disaster management team in Tehran has asked the Iranian government if it needs help and was to meet later Friday to assess the situation, said Elizabeth Byrs, Geneva spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

She said there had been no request from Tehran so far.

Roy Probert, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the umbrella group also has had no requests. Probert said the Iranian Red Crescent is well-prepared for earthquakes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences over the earthquake.

In a telegram to Iranian President Mohamed Khatami, Putin said he was "deeply shocked by an earthquake in Iran that brought numerous victims and destruction" and offered his "sincere condolences to the leadership and people of Iran."

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Marina Ryklina said that two Il-76 transport aircraft with rescue workers and equipment were to leave for Iran later Friday.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder expressed "deep sorrow" over the disaster and said his country would offer humanitarian assistance. Greece put a team of rescue specialists on alert for possible deployment to Iran.

Hardly any buildings in Iran are built to withstand earthquakes, although the country sits on several major faultlines and temblors are frequent. An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 to 7.7 killed 50,000 people on June 21, 1990, and most recently, a magnitude 6 quake in June, 2002 killed 500 people.

Also Friday, a magnitude 4 quake rocked the west Iranian town of Masjid Soleiman at 8:10 a.m., but no casualties were immediately reported, state television said. Masjid Soleiman is about 600 miles northwest of Bam.

:sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad:

Dec 26th, 2003, 04:44 PM
May Allah be with all peoples who lost someone.

Dec 26th, 2003, 05:47 PM
what a tragedy :sad:

I hope that people in Iran can recover from this, they already have suffered too much :sad:

Dec 26th, 2003, 11:55 PM
20,000 Killed in Iranian Earthquake
Ancient City Devastated; Anger at Government Response Time
By Parisa Hafezi, Reuters

(Dec. 26) - A pre-dawn earthquake razed much of the ancient Silk Road city of Bam in Iran on Friday, killing more than 20,000 people and injuring tens of thousands more, government officials said.

Soldiers search for bodies in Bam, Iran, after Friday's earthquake.

About 70 per cent of the buildings in the historic city, a popular tourist spot some 600 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran, had collapsed and many residents were trapped under the rubble, state television said.

"Rescue workers have found more bodies. The figure is now more than 20,000," a senior government official said. The quake at about 5:30 a.m. measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Other officials said around 50,000 people were injured in and around the city, which, with its environs, had a population of some 200,000 people.

Bam was without water, electricity or gas as night fell and temperatures headed below freezing. Residents set fires to stay warm and made torches from palm branches for light as they dug with bare hands for survivors.

Bam governor Ali Shafiee told state TV: "The city of Bam must be built from scratch."

Bawling infants and dazed adults gathered in city squares, huddling against the cold under woollen blankets. Rubble-strewn pavements were lined with injured, some on intravenous drips.

State media said two hospitals had collapsed, crushing many of the staff, and the remaining hospitals were full. The injured were being ferried to neighbouring towns.

Witnesses said many houses had been flattened.

Distraught relatives wept next to shrouded corpses. Hundreds of bodies were bundled into trucks. Mechanised diggers hollowed out trenches where the dead were buried quickly without rites.

"I have lost all my family. My parents, my grandmother and two sisters are under the rubble," said Maryam, 17.

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Thousands Feared Dead

One grief-stricken old woman smeared her face with dirt, only able to utter: "My child, my child."

Angry people accused the government of doing nothing to help them and said they were still without tents, water or fuel.

Witnesses said the road to Bam was choked with ambulances and people desperate to find family members.

Houses in the date-growing area are traditionally made from mud-brick, making them vulnerable to earthquakes.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran needed search dogs, blankets and medicines from the world community.

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Russia, Germany, Poland, France, Italy, the United States and other states were sending help, including doctors, medical supplies and rescuers with sniffer dogs and special equipment to locate survivors buried beneath rubble.

A large part of the ancient citadel was destroyed, Mohammad Ali Karimi, governor of Kerman province, where Bam is located, said. Dating back 2,000 years, it had fortifications, towers, buildings, stables and a mosque.

Bam is on the old Silk Road route between China and Europe used by merchants and travellers for centuries. It is a tourist spot with inns, a gymnasium, a theological school and bazaars.

The quake, a regular occurrence in a country crossed by major faultlines, struck when most residents were asleep.

In June last year, a tremor measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit northern Iran, killing at least 229 people and injuring more than 1,000.

Some 35,000 people were killed in 1990 when earthquakes of up to 7.7 on the Richter scale hit the northwest of Iran. Tehran was hit by a quake of about seven on the Richter scale in 1830.

Dec 27th, 2003, 12:32 AM
This is soo sad .

Dec 27th, 2003, 05:00 AM

That is soo sad....:sad: :sad:

May God rest their souls....:angel:

Dec 27th, 2003, 05:26 AM
That area is very treacherous. I remember Armenian earthquake of 1988 of even greater magnitude. A couple of towns were ground-leveled with tens of thousands of dead. And you have to see it to actually believe that it can be like that - you walk around what used to be a 12 storey residential building, and what is left is a pyramid of rubble 15 feet high. And pieces of dead bodies everywhere. :sad:

Dec 27th, 2003, 03:58 PM
This is so sad :sad::sad: :sad:

Dec 27th, 2003, 04:09 PM

Outrageous that the government is not doing much to help them :mad:

Dec 27th, 2003, 04:11 PM

Outrageous that the government is not doing much to help them :mad:

The magnitude of the disaster is simply overwhelming.

Dec 27th, 2003, 05:14 PM
Now, looking at where it happened geographically, something is not clear. The town was very old more than thousand years, many buildings were very old and and the town was _not_ located in seismically active area. It's not mountaineous area ( unlike, say, areas in country's north, where few big earthquakes happened several years ago ) There was _NO_ prior quake experience in that area, that is why the town was built with no seismic resistance in mind whatsoever. It starts more and more looking as that earthquake is originating from human activity. For instance, Iran was warned few times that their methods of pumping oil are incorrect and they could cause something like that.. It might have been the case.

Dec 27th, 2003, 06:18 PM
In that part of the world they are use to these type of earthquake disasters, but it's very sad indeed. All of those people losing their life in an instant is a very tragic event.

I really think prophecy is being fulfilled in the Middle East. If you don't think so you should read your bibles, because everything is coming to past so quickly that soon the anti christ will return.

Lita's Ex
Dec 27th, 2003, 07:35 PM
In that part of the world they are use to these type of earthquake disasters, but it's very sad indeed. All of those people losing their life in an instant is a very tragic event.

I really think prophecy is being fulfilled in the Middle East. If you don't think so you should read your bibles, because everything is coming to past so quickly that soon the anti christ will return.

It's really sad that this area of Iran was levelled by the earthquake but to cite some prophecy as the reason is totally farfetched. Some regions of the world are prone to certain types of disaster. It isn't anything as complex (and fantastic) as you believe it is.

Dec 28th, 2003, 01:09 AM
This is terrible news :sad: :sad: :sad:

The loss of human life in this magnitude... is just shocking :sad:

Crazy Canuck
Dec 28th, 2003, 08:26 PM
I really wanted to make a Bush joke, but that simply isn't funny in a thread like this. That, and Bush jokes kind of bother me (they've all gotten old).

Serious question - ys just stated that this area is not seismically active, yet two posts followed that up stating that "these things happen all the time in that area"... so who knows what they are talking about? I'm willing to guess that ys is the correct on here since he's actually taken the time to look it up.

Dec 28th, 2003, 09:25 PM
What They need Bri is an earthquake to level the city of Tehran, then again what are the chances of them asking for Jewish Aid if that was the case :)

Dec 29th, 2003, 01:11 AM
Its all sad