Bam, Iran - the impacts and human responses as evidenced by a recent seismic event

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  • Bam, Iran - the impacts and human responses as evidenced by a recent seismic event
    • Impacts
      • Short term
        • 26,271 casualties (initially 40,000 but some bodies counted twice)
        • 30,000 injured
        • 85% of all buildings damaged
        • 75% of all housing were completely destroyed
        • This left 100,000 homeless
        • Electricity & water supplies cut
        • Problems of looting
        • 2 hospitals collapsed meaning that the remaining hospitals could not cope
        • Half of Bam's health workers were killed in the earthquake
        • The estimated costof reconstruction was $700 million
      • Long term
        • As the earthquake happened in the middle of winter, many survivors died due to extreme cold
        • By 2006 many residents were still living in camps
        • Many people suffered mental health issues due to the trauma
        • Increase in drug use - by 2006 50% of men & 15% of women were addicted to opium (Bam is on a drug route between Afghanistan & Pakistan).
          • A UNICEF worker claimed this was slowing reconstruction and lessening motivation
        • The earthquake led to a thaw in relations between Iran & America
        • In return for aid Iran complied with the atomic energy review -allowing the monitoring of its nuclear weapons
      • Why so much damage?
        • Many of the buildings were constructed in the 16th & 17th century so were not shockproof
        • Many of the houses were poorly constructed - home-made mud bricks
        • Loss of important  archaeological/ historical sites e.g. Bam Citadel this was considered to be one of the best surviving mud Citadels. It was demolished by the earthquake
    • Basic facts
      • 29 serious aftershocks
      • 6.6 magnitude
      • Population of 97,000
      • 26/12/2003 5.26am
      • Focus 10km - shallow
      • Epicentre 10km SW of the city of Bam
      • Important tourist destination  attracting visitors to ancient site like Bam Citadel
      • Bam is on a destructive plate margin - Arabian plate colliding with the Eurasian plate about 3cm/ yr (collision margin)
      • A 24km rupture was created accounting for the widespread destruction
    • Responses
      • The redevelopment provided the city with many opportunities for growth - irrigation system was hugely improved - crucial for the the date industry. Led to an increase in investment & employment
      • 44 countries sent personnel to assist in the aftermath
      • By Jan 15 the UN food programme had sent 100,000 rations of food
      • Red Crescent set up tents to house survivors,but the Iranian govt was critisiced for not providing enough tents
      • New regulations were introduced to ensure that new structures were compliant with shock-proof guidelines - bank loans were subsided to assist with this
      • After the quake the US offered aid - it was initially declined
      • December 30th - first time a US military plane had landed on Iranian soil for 20 years
        • The US involvement was very controversial - many people in Iran said that although they were thankful for the aid, they were unhappy about the politicization of it
      • After 5 years, they have found new information about the Citadel - spent money on this rather than rebuilding peoples home - for tourism


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