20,000 Dead in Iran

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Durandal7, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Feb 24, 2001

    By Parisa Hafezi

    BAM, Iran (Reuters) - 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.

    About 70 per cent of the buildings in the historic city, a popular tourist spot some 1,000 km (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. (9 p.m. EST Thursday) 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 woolen 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 neighboring towns.
    Reuters witnesses said many houses had been flattened.
    Distraught relatives wept next to shrouded corpses. Hundreds of bodies were bundled into trucks. Mechanized 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.

    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.

    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 travelers 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.

    (Additional reporting by Christian Oliver in Tehran)
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    That is very sad news, thank you for the information Durandal7. I pray that the victims and there families will find comfort. Hopefully rescue can arrive in time to prevent anymore loss of life.

    Sadly with the same circumstances we could have that same devastation here in Boston. None of our buildings could sustain an earthquake. A large part of Boston is built with backfill to make additional land where there was waterfront.
  3. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    My heart goes out to all those killed. I have a lot of family in Iran, but thankfully they all live in Tehran.

    Speaking of the northeast being unable to sustain an earthquake, I always think of that when I visit. Being a native San Franciscan, I'm always quite aware of the ever-present danger of earthquakes. I always get very nervous walking around cities like Boston and seeing all those brick buildings. They wouldn't stand a chance in an earthquake. But how often do quakes even hit the northeast? I can't even remember the last time I heard of one.
  4. Tiauguinho macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2002
    The Netherlands
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
  6. Backtothemac macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    Stuff like this breaks my heart. I pray for all of the people there. It almost makes me feel guilty for living where I do seeing something like this.
  7. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    There's no reason to feel guilt for it, but my sympathy goes out to them.
  8. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    I have been reading conflicting reports on the number of casualties in the quake. Of course, no matter how many were lost, it is still extremely tragic. CNN reports 5000 dead with 20,000 injured and FOX news reports 20,000 dead with 30,000 injured. That is quite a large discrepancey.
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Yikes. From a quake the same size as the one I went through last week. Guess that shows the value of building codes that we follow here. If those numbers had happened here we would have lost a sizeable portion of our population. I remember after the big Turkish quake a few years ago, when many of the apartment buildings were examined it was found that many builders had skimped on the cement portion (the most expensive component) of the cement-aggregate-water mixture that makes up concrete. Some inspectors were literally able to crumble the structural colums in their hands. Big, big problem in earthquake country.

    That's one hell of a tragedy for a community to absorb. Let's hope it highlights the critical need for building codes and code enforcement that is still lacking in many places. A 6.5 quake shouldn't kill that many people. And I should know!
  10. bobindashadows macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2002
    There was an Earthquake in upstate New York... a little under 2 years ago. I think it was around a 5 on the richter scale. It was the only one I'd ever remembered, and my parents said we had one (less powerful) about 15 years ago.
  11. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    This seems to be an opportune time to have closer relations with Iran. We have no diplomtic relations with them. It was mentioned that it was unusual for them to accept help so quickly and with gratitude. They relalize that they are ill equipped to under this task.

    There are 60 medical rescue workers that left yesterday from Massachusetts. This is a first for them to go to a foreign country. They left aboad a C5 Galaxay, the largest transport in the US military. The group is taking with it 150,000 lbs of supplies.

    It is so sad how this small town fo Bam has been devastated.
  12. Chisholm macrumors regular


    May 31, 2002
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I think there are 5,000 confirmed dead with an estimated 15,000-30,000 unaccounted for. The longer they are unaccounted for the less chance of surviving.:(

    Wouldn't be nice if we could just move all our troops in Iraq over there to help?
  13. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
  14. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    I agree that this is a perfect time to improve our relationship with Iran. It is great that we have sent doctors, nurses, and supplies to them (they would do the same for us). When the time comes for them to rebuild, I think it would be even more beneficial (for everyone) for us to send some of our country's best structural engineers, etc. over there to help them design more quake-resistant structures (I'm sure Japan would help to). Not only would this spare lives in the future, but it would also help our tarnished image in the Arab world. I can only hope that something like this happens, as this is a terrible tradjedy that should not have been nearly this deadly......20,000 people....I can't even begin to imagine what that would do to a community.....
  15. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
  16. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    wdlove -- Do you get all your daily news from that web site?

    No, really, it seems like it.

    They better accecpt our aid... after all this time...

    We gave weapons to Iraq to Kill Iran... Iran has quake... we give aid...

    That is a whole other story tho...:eek:

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