Skip to comments.Iranian Quake Kills Thousands, Flattens City of Bam; 20,000 killed, 30,000 hurt.
Posted on 12/26/2003 1:05:14 PM PST by PikamaxEdited on 07/19/2004 2:12:57 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Iranian Quake Kills Thousands, Flattens City of Bam (Update3) Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake in southern Iran today killed thousands of people in and around the historic city of Bam, and destroyed almost two-thirds of the city's buildings, the official IRNA news service reported.
(Excerpt) Read more at quote.bloomberg.com ...
That's what I think. It's bound to make the Almighty a bit cranky when you threaten to wipe His kids off the map.
I agree, the US undoubtedly will do the heavy lifting in the relief effort of course.
Jeesh, guys, lighten up.
Tehran, Dec 27 - Interior Ministry Spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said foreign relief workers arriving in the country to help the survivors of the killer quake in Bam do not need visas.
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale rocked the city of Bam in the southeastern province of Kerman early Friday, killing at least 20,000 people and injuring more than 30,000 others.
According to the approval of the natural disasters headquarters,the Kerman international airport is chosen to receive foreign aid, he said, adding the airport will provide 24-hour services.
Kerman, Dec 27 - Two Iranian officials on Saturday refuted certain media figures on the toll from Friday's quake disaster in southeastern city of Bam.
Deputy governor general of Kerman for political and security affairs Mohammad Farshad said in an interview with IRNA on Saturday that certain media reports on tolls from Friday's deadly quake in Bam were not correct, insisting that the figure is much less than what they announce.
"The figures are not correct; no precise statistics on the number of casualties are available yet but it seems that number of the victims is less," said Farshad.
Certain media have put the death toll from the quake at 20,000 to 25,000.
Farshad said 7,000 of the injured have thus far been carried to hospitals in Kerman and the nearby provinces.
Meanwhile, director general of Iran's Natural Disasters Headquarters Abbas Jazayeri too refuted certain media claims on the toll, saying the figures change with the passage of time.
Jazayeri said more than 7,000 injured citizens of Bam have thus far been transferred to hospitals and medicare centers throughout the country.
He said the injured have been admitted by hospitals in provinces of Khorassan, Fars, Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman.
He added however that some of the injured had received out patient medicare services and the rest had been hospitalized.
The official said the Red Crescent Society, Natural Disasters Headquarters, the Islamic Republic Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Police and Ministry of Health are busy rendering relief services to the victims in the quake-hit areas.
He said 140 sorties of flight had been conducted to the regions, carrying the injured to medicare centers.
He predicted that operations for transfer of all the injured would be completed in the comings hours.
By NAZILA FATHI
Published: December 28, 2003
EHRAN, Dec. 27 The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck the southern Iranian city of Bam on Friday morning rose to 25,000, city officials said Saturday, with many more tens of thousands injured.
"Five thousand people were killed on the spot and there are 20,000 people under the rubble," said Iradj Sharifi, rector of the faculty of medicine in city of Kerman, about 120 miles northwest of Bam.
The interior minister, Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari, said on state television from Bam: "The city is ruined. More than 70 percent of it is destroyed."
On Saturday, the tens of thousands of injured people crowded field hospitals or lay helplessly in the streets, while survivors and rescuers dug frantically to try to save those still trapped. Aftershocks jolted the area repeatedly.
There were grim but uncertain predictions that the death toll now at about an eighth of the population of the district might rise.
"As more bodies are pulled out, we fear that the death toll may reach as high as 40,000," said Akbar Alavi, the governor of Kerman, the provincial capital, according to The Associated Press. "An unbelievable human disaster has occurred."
The earthquake, which Iranian agencies measured at 6.3 and American agencies at 6.6, rocked Bam, 610 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran, at 5:28 a.m. Friday. It lasted 12 seconds, state television said, adding that most last only 5 seconds.
Volunteer rescue workers from around the country hurried into Bam, some equipped with shovels, some joining survivors in clawing through the rubble barehanded.
International rescue teams began arriving with sniffer dogs and detection equipment. One dog team dug out 20 survivors, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The use of dogs, which are considered unclean by most Muslims, was a sticking point in rescue efforts in a 1990 earthquake that struck northwestern Iran, killing about 50,000 people.
Government spokesmen announced that foreign aid workers would not need entry visas.
"We need help otherwise we will be pulling corpses, not the injured, out of the rubble," Brigadier Mohammadi, commander of the army in southeastern Iran, told state television.
Hurriedly constructed field hospitals were overwhelmed with casualties, and many of the injured lay in the streets. State television said at least 3,000 people had been flown to hospitals in other cities, and it showed film of bloodied victims being loaded onto planes.
The bodies of the dead lined streets. By Saturday, broad trenches were being dug with earthmoving equipment, and hundreds of bodies were being buried at a time, The A.P. reported. Many more bodies were collected at cemeteries, the agency reported. State television showed some bodies being stowed in the trunks of cars.
The aftershocks wrecked many buildings that had survived the initial quake. Eyewitnesses said the last section of Imam Khomeini hospital that had remained standing, collapsed Saturday during an aftershock. Another hospital had also been destroyed.
Refugees poured out of Bam on Saturday, according to Agence France-Presse, with the main road to Kerman City jammed with thousands of cars crammed with belongings. Tens of thousands of people, their homes destroyed, spent the night outside. With temperatures hovering around freezing overnight, some gathered around fires. Many continued to search the rubble for family members.
One woman cried and begged for help in front of her leveled house, according to a local journalist. The woman, Batul, 48, said her husband, 55, and three of her five children had died. Her daughter, 17, was badly injured but was among the relatively fortunate victims who received help at field hospitals. She had managed to find her husband's body, she said.
"I have lost everything, my home and my family," Batul said. "We were all asleep when the earthquake happened and all I could do was to drag my 12-year-old son out of the house."
State television showed an injured 5-year-old boy in a hospital in the city of Isfahan who said his mother and brother had been killed and his father taken to a hospital in Tehran.
A Kerman City official, Ali Karimi, said the historic quarter of Bam a mud city dating to the early years of the first century was certainly completely destroyed.
Rescuers and equipment were arriving from around the world, and Iranian officials organized their deployment, dividing the city into six broad sections. Planes from Switzerland, Britain, Germany, Italy and Belgium were expected on Saturday morning. Denmark sent a team of 52 rescue workers with dogs and electronic search and rescue equipment, according to a statement released by its embassy in Tehran. Kuwait's Health Ministry said its medical team would arrive Sunday.
Bush administration officials in Washington, which has had tense relations with Iran, said they were preparing to announce an aid package. A 73-member urban search and rescue team from Fairfax, Va., was being sent to Iran by the United States Agency for International Development, The A.P. reported.
Throughout the country, people tried to find ways to help, too. State television showed Iranians crowding hospitals to donate blood. People flooded aid centers with canned food, blankets and clothes.
"I feel like my own children are buried under the rubble," said a crying woman in Tehran, who donated blankets and bottled water. "I want to go to the city and help, sending stuff is not enough."
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