Friday, May 28, 2004

The Earthquake!

There was a huge quake a few minutes ago in Tehran. We can’t decide the magnitude yet…a whole lot a shaking, as if a powerful bomb exploded. People are roaming around the streets, chatting, and airing concerns.

We have all been expecting one in Tehran for some time now. This past year alone, we’ve felt as if this nation has been in a constant game of the musical chair, with different folks in various cities having been left without a place.

The most distressing one was obviously in Bam, remember? A strong quake of some duration will cause much damage in Tehran--a disaster of monumental proportions. Such is life, I suppose. Live and learn…or not.

Update: Epicenter around Baladeh/Yoosh in the northern State of Mazandaran—69 kilometers from Tehran. About 2 hours ago. The experts can’t settle on the exact magnitude; some say 5.5 others 6.2. Many cities and regions have been affected from Tabriz to Qum, Tehran, Gazvin, and elsewhere. The damage so far has been slight. Minor disruptions in the phone network immediately afterwards. Reports of one fatality and about a dozen injuries so far and damage to some roads in the Chaloos region. As quakes go, this one was not too terribly destructive. We’ll see what happens next. Aftershocks are always a thrill!

UpdateII- 3 hours later: Expert are settling on 6.2; shallow and wide. Reports of up to 8 fatalities with 2 dozen injuries. A few houses reported damaged or destroyed in some villages up North. S&R teams have been dispatched. Medical teams on full alert for possible other quakes to follow. People anxious, but relatively orderly, as the nervous Iranians go anyway.

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