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Bam Earthquake (2003)

  • By: Cher N. Peterson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

At approximately 5:26 A.M. local time on December 26, 2003, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the historic, ancient city of Bam in southeast Iran. Over 40,000 people—almost half the total population of the city—died that day. More than 20,000 were injured, with 6,000 reported missing. The destruction to the city was vast. More than 90 percent of Bam's buildings, including the historic 17th-century citadel of Arg-e-Bam, were wholly destroyed or left beyond repair, leaving much of the city's population homeless.

The city of Bam is located in an active seismic zone. Although large parts of Iran have very high seismic activity with small tremors occurring on an almost daily basis, Bam and the surrounding area had no reported great historical quakes and no historical records of ...

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