Magnitude just part of equation

An earthquake that measures above 7.0 in magnitude is considered a major quake, but weaker earthquakes can be devastating. The amount of damage depends on a variety of factors, including how far below ground the quake is focused and the type of construction above ground.

Friday's earthquake in Iran had a magnitude 6.6. The deadliest USA earthquake was the 7.7 quake that hit San Francisco in , killing at least 700. The USA's strongest quake hit Prince William Sound, Alaska, in with magnitude 9.2, killing 125 people. The quake in California during the World Series registered 6.9 and caused 67 deaths. On Dec. 22, a magnitude-6.5 quake in California caused two deaths.
Source: USA TODAY research.


Major Iran quakes

Significant temblors during the past 30 years:

April 10, , southern Iran. 5,374 deaths. Magnitude: 7.1, considered a major earthquake.

Sept. 16, , east-central Iran. 15,000 deaths. Magnitude: 7.5 to 7.9. It leveled many towns and villages.

June 21, , Caspian region, northern Iran. 35,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries in the worst recorded disaster in Iran. Magnitude: 7.7.

Feb. 28, , northwest Iran. 1,000 deaths. Magnitude: 5.5.

May 10, , eastern Iran near the Afghan border. 1,560 deaths. Magnitude: 7.1.

Friday, southern city of Bam. More than 20,000 deaths. Magnitude: 6.6.

Source: Reuters

Recent major world quakes

Major earthquakes around the world in recent years:

Dec. 12, , Indonesia. 2,200 deaths. Magnitude: 6.8.

Sept. 30, , India. 10,000 deaths from series of quakes. Magnitude of first: 6.4.

Jan. 17, , Japan. 6,430 deaths. Magnitude: 7.2.

Feb. 4, , Afghanistan. 4,500 deaths. Magnitude: 6.1.

May 30, , Afghanistan. 4,000 deaths. Magnitude: 6.9.

July 17, , Papua New Guinea. 2,100 deaths. Magnitude: 7.1.

Aug. 17, , Turkey. 17,800 deaths. Magnitude: 7.4.

Jan. 26, , India. 19,700 deaths. Magnitude: 7.7.

May 21, , Algeria. 2,251 deaths. Magnitude: 6.7.

Friday, Iran. More than 20,000 deaths. Magnitude: 6.6.

Source: Reuters


Other natural disasters with great loss of life

Catastrophes of the past several decades in which many thousands of people have died

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale at Mount Huascaran, in Peru, triggers a rock and snow avalanche that buries the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca, killing 67,000 people.

In Bangladesh, between 300,000 and 500,000 people die in cyclone-induced flooding, as do more than 130,000 people in .

Heavy rains cause severe flooding in northern Vietnam, killing 100,000 people.

The deadliest earthquake of the 20th century, with a magnitude of eight, strikes Tianjin (formerly Tangshan), in China. The official casualty figure issued by the Chinese government is 255,000 but unofficial estimates of the death toll are as high as 655,000.

Famine kills more than 900,000 people in Ethiopia.

An earthquake in Armenia, measuring 6.9, kills nearly 25,000 people, injures 15,000 and leaves at least 400,000 homeless.

An earthquake measuring 7.7 destroys cities and villages in the Caspian Sea area of north-western Iran. At least 50,000 people are killed, more than 60,000 injured and 400,000 left homeless.

A tsunami wave kills 138,000 people in Bangladesh.

An estimated 11,000 people are killed in an earthquake in Latur, India.

An earthquake measuring 7.7 rocks the western Indian state of Gujarat, killing more than 20,000 people and leaving 600,000 homeless.

A heatwave leaves 15,000 mainly elderly people dead in France.

An earthquake measuring 6.3 kills as many as 50,000 people in the city of Bam, in south-eastern Iran.

Source: © Guardian Newspapers by Linda MacDonald, Tuesday December 30,


Quake destroys historic Silk Road city
Bam, Iran - December 26 , 5:27 AM

A powerful earthquake struck southeastern Iran on December 26, , killing around 35,000 people, injured 16,000, left 70,000 homeless and destroyed much of the city of Bam. The USGS National Earthquake information center is reported a magnitude of 6.6 for the quake, which was located just southwest of the city. About 60 percent of the buildings in Bam were destroyed. The old quarter and a 2,000-year-old citadel (severely damaged by the earthquake) were built primarily of mud brick.

Iran map
Map :
© Guardian Unlimited Special Reports

The ancient, pre-Islamic Arg-i-Bam or Citadel of Bam, founded more than 2,000 years ago and a United Nations world heritage site made of mud bricks, clay and straw, was flattened.

"The historic quarter of Bam has been completely destroyed and many of our countrymen are underneath the ruins," said Mohammad Ali Karimi, the governor of Kerman province, where Bam, 600 miles south-east of Teheran, is located on the edge of the Lut desert.


  What Happened 
A magnitude 6.6 quake struck the southeastern city of Bam on December 26, killing an estimated 35,000 people and destroying a 2,000 year-old fortress near the city.

Iranian authorities ended general search-and-rescue operations on Jan 2, , despite the rescue of a 97-year-old Shahrbanoo Mazandarani after 8 days under the rubbles. On January 8, Thirteen days after being buried underneath earthquake rubble, a 56-year old man was found alive but in poor health in the southeastern Iranian city of Bam, an International Red Crescent spokesman said. Aid workers told Reuters the rescued man had travelled from a nearby village to Bam for medical treatment and was staying with his sister when the earthquake struck.

Relief workers from Iran and more than 60 countries have been trying to help tens of thousands of survivors who are homeless and without basic necessities.

Local people have told reporters that on the afternoon of the 25th of December there were some light tremors in the area but this would not be unusual for the region.

Friday is not a working day in Iran so many people came home for the weekend on the evening of Thursday the 25th of December.

At around 4am on Friday the 26th there was an earthquake, which shook houses. Some people got up and went out into the street but after a short period they returned to their beds. Then at 5.27am the second earthquake struck. It measure 6.6 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was the city of Bam.

Given the level of destruction it is probably safe to assume that the earthquake occurred close to the surface. Buildings collapsed. Roofs and ceilings tend to be made of many layers of bricks to keep the house cool in summer. These collapsed immediately burying tens of thousands of people under tons of rubble.


  Satellite image of Bam 

Earthquake near Bam, Iran Image. Caption explains image.

Earthquake near Bam, Iran
This one-meter resolution satellite image of Bam, Iran was taken by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite on Dec. 27, , just one day after a catastrophic earthquake struck the historic city. The image shows widespread destruction as a result of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that leveled 70 percent of the buildings according to news reports.

Clearly seen in this image is the 2,000-year-old citadel, considered the world's largest mud fortress. According to news reports, much of the medieval fortress crumbled like a sand castle when the quake hit. The citadel was a popular tourist attraction and is on the register of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and has been a World Heritage site.

Bam is located about 1,000 km (620 miles) southeast of Tehran.

Image courtesy Space Imaging



  News on Salam-MVFRA Humanitarian Mission to Bam, Iran 

SALAM hantar lima orang bantu mangsa gempa Bam

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Salam's Humanitarian Mission Leaves For Bam Tuesday

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Kumpulan Persatuan Sukarelawan Bomba Malaysia Tiba Di Kerman

Salam cari dua sukarelawan ke Iran

Engineers, mobile toilets needed

 Yo!diari perantau, UTUSAN MALAYSIA SABTU, January 31,   
Bam Musnah Sekelip Mata

Oleh K. Balasupramaniam


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  Bam Earthquake - Courtesy Photos 

Click here to view photos..

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