Bam Earthquake of 2003

Tragedy hit Iran on 26 December 2003 when a major earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale hit its south-eastern province of Kerman at 05:28 (local time). The area most affected was the ancient city of Bam where more than 43,000 people were killed, an estimated 30,000 injured and up to 75,000 left homeless, according to official estimates.

In response to the disaster, the Iranian Red Cross Society (IRCS) mobilized more than 8,500 relief workers, volunteers and vehicles and launched large-scale rescue, evacuation and relief operations.

On December 26th, 2003, a strong earthquake struck the historic city of Bam in Iran. This city was home to 100,000 people. More than 43,000 people died in the earthquake and more than 25,000 were injured. That is almost one half of the population!

The earthquake damaged some 85 percent of the buildings and destroyed a 2,000 year-old citadel, Argo-e-Bam.

Three months have passed since the earthquake. Local authorities, along with the international community’s help, have been busy with relief and reconstruction efforts.

A huge earthquake has killed at least 15,000 people in south-eastern Iran, government sources say.

The quake had its epicentre near the ancient city of Bam - most of its buildings have been flattened.

Many people were believed to be buried under rubble. President Khatami has spoken of a "national tragedy" and urged all Iranians to help the victims.

The 2003 Bam earthquake was a major earthquake that struck Bam and the surrounding Kerman province of southeastern Iran at 1:56 AM UTC (5:26 AM Iran Standard Time) on Friday, December 26, 2003. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude (Mw) of 6.6; estimated by the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake was particularly destructive, with the death toll amounting to 26,271 people and injuring an additional 30,000. The effects of the earthquake were exacerbated by the use of mud brick as the standard construction medium; many of the area's structures did not comply with earthquake regulations set in 1989.