Powerful quake hits southeast Iran

December 22, 2010

KERMAN – An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the mountainous Fahraj area in the southeastern province of Kerman on Monday night, killing four and injuring thirty six.

The quake happened at 22:12 p.m. local time.
Tehran University’s Institute of Geophysics reported that the epicenter of the quake was 20 kilometers far from Hosseinabad village in Fahraj city.
Fahraj is located 300 kilometers away from the capital city of Kerman, near the city of Bam.
The massive quake happened in sparsely populated areas otherwise it could cause a tragedy.
The earthquake was so sever that it also shook some parts of Sistan-Balouchestan, Kerman, Yazd, South Khorasan and Hormozgan provinces.
Many aftershocks followed the earthquake, the strongest one measured 5 on the Richter scale.
The director of the Iran’s Red Crescent said that it is difficult to deliver humanitarian aid to some villages even with helicopters because they are located in mountainous areas.
--Providing shelter is essential
A local governor said providing relief aid to quake-stricken people in the cold of winter is essential.
The power has been cut in some villages in mountainous areas.
---40 percent of houses damaged
It has been reported that over 40 percent of houses in the region have been severely damaged.
A local official said about 1,150 residential houses has been demolished 20 to 60 percent. However, another local official said 1800 houses have been demolished from 20 to 100 percent.
Pictures taken from the region shows some mud houses have been leveled to the ground. People are now living in tents.
------Turkey dispatches humanitarian aid
Turkish Red Crescent has dispatched two trucks carrying humanitarian aid. Tents, gas-burning stoves, blankets and other basic supplies were among the goods sent by Turkey.
Turkish Red Crescent, in a statement, said it is ready to send more humanitarian aid to Kerman province.
Many areas in Iran are located on seismic fault lines and Iran is frequently hit by powerful earthquakes.
In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the southeastern city of Bam in Kerman Province, leaving about 30,000 people dead.
The deadliest earthquake of the country, measured 7.7 on the Richter scale, struck the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan in 1990, killing about 37,000 people