December 26, 2003

A True Tragedy

My word: 20,000 feared dead in Iran quake.

Iran has appealed for international aid as the death toll from a devastating earthquake climbed to 4,000 and officials warned that thousands more are likely to be found dead.

At least 30,000 people have been injured in the quake in southeastern Iran, local officials said.

The Iranian government said as many as 20,000 people may have died in the quake, which was centered near the ancient city of Bam about 610 miles (975 km) southeast of the capital, Tehran.

The quake was similar in magnitude to the one in California earlier in the week:

Tehran University's Geophysics Institute said the earthquake measured a magnitude of 6.3, according to IRNA. It was followed by several aftershocks, including one measuring 5.3.

For its part, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center measured the magnitude of the quake at 6.7

[...]

60 percent of the city's residential areas have been destroyed. Bam has a population of about 80,000 people.

Sadly, both the city's hospitals were destroyed in the quake.

As James pointed out the other day, it certainly matters if one is in a First World or Third World country when one of these things hits.

In explaining the severity of the damage to the city, journalist Shirzad Bozorgmehr in Tehran said Bam is an ancient city not designed to withstand a major earthquake.

Of course, the location of the the epicenter vis-a-vis populations matters as well.

Posted by Steven Taylor at December 26, 2003 09:10 AM | TrackBack
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