Tabas Earthquake

The earthquake was centered about 600 kilometers southeast of Tehran in the vicinity of Tabas.

The death toll was about 15,000, many were injured, and damage was extensive. Tabas had the highest death toll - 9,000 killed out of a population of 13,000, Dehesk had 2500 killed out of 3500, and Kurit had 2000 killed out of 3500; the remainder of the deaths were in surrounding areas.

More than 11,000 people are feared dead after an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale hit the south-east region of Iran.

The three-minute quake, the world's strongest this year, struck at 1938 local time this evening.

The town of Tabas, 600 miles (965km) from Tehran, has been completely flattened and 40 villages within a 30-mile (48-km) radius of the epicentre have been damaged.

The 1978 Tabas earthquake was a huge earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale which struck on September 16, 1978 in central Iran. The death toll was approximately 26,000 and the worst damage was to the town Tabas, which was at the epicentre of the quake and completely flattened. 40 villages within a 30 miles (48 km) radius were damaged. Around 15,000 population were killed, leaving only 4,000 living in the town. All the town's doctors were reported to have died, leaving civilians to treat others. All water and electricity was cut from Tabas, along with phone lines. The nearest accessible place to gain water was the town of Ferdows, a three hour drive away.

The earthquake lasted around three minutes, making it extremely dangerous. Compared to the normal earthquake duration of 10 – 20 seconds, the power of this earthquake is shown. It struck at 19:38 local time. In the aftermath of the quake, bodies were burned where found to prevent the spread of disease.