Earthquake risk high in 78% of cities in Iran, says IRCS  

December 16, 2018

TEHRAN — There are 120 active faults in Iran and about 78 percent of cities nationwide are located in earthquake prone regions, director of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Rescue and Relief Organization, Morteza Salimi, said on Saturday. 

Salimi made the remarks over an International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) training program for search and rescue teams here in Tehran, Tasnim news agency reported. 

INSARAG is a global network of more than 80 countries and organizations under the United Nations umbrella. INSARAG deals with urban search and rescue (USAR) related issues, aiming to establish minimum international standards for USAR teams and methodology for international coordination in earthquake response based on the INSARAG Guidelines.

The event was co-organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Iran office, the National Disaster Management Organization, and the Embassy of Austria and with regard to the overriding need for training urban search and rescue teams.

Moreover, Salimi warned, the metropolis of Tehran, as the capital city of Iran, is also at risk for a big quake and has been awaiting a devastating earthquake measuring over 7 on the Richter scale for years. 

Based on the studies and pervious quakes reported in Tehran the city is most likely to be stricken with a massive quake every 158 years, he said, adding that the risk is 70 percent, he explained. 

However, the last powerful quake hit Tehran 182 years ago and that means the imminent earthquake of Tehran has 24-year-old delay, he added. 

Had an earthquake hit Tehran the city, which is also the cultural and economic hub of the country, will face a catastrophe, he lamented. 

Salimi went on to say that it is projected that in Tehran with a population of 10 million, more than million buildings will be razed to the ground and about 1.5 million will die.

He further underscored the importance of forming highly trained urban search and rescue teams in the country which live up to international standards.  

Salimi also expressed hope that with the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s Rescue and Relief Organization joining the INSARAG in near future would make the matter more feasible. 

3,544 schools in Tehran susceptible to quake

Ahmad Sadeqi, director of the Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization also said on Saturday that Tehran is very much vulnerable to earthquake and that some 3,544 schools in Tehran are susceptible to a temblor.  

He further underlined the importance of establishing local and national search and rescue teams to offer relief services soon after the quake hits, YJC reported.

Buildings which are not resistant to earthquake and run-down areas are the most important issues which must be dealt with in no time soon, he noted. 

MQ/MG

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