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December 26, 2003

Nature never stops
Mehdi Yahyanejad  [info|posts]

argebam.jpg A devastating earthquake hit the city of Bam and killed several thousands people. Much of the historic city of Bam was destroyed. Please feel free to share your feelings and thoughts on this tragic event in the comment section.

Big earthquakes have not been uncommon in Iran. Pretty much in every decade, there has been a severe earthquake. Unfortunately, Iran is located on one of the most earthquake-frequent regions of Earth. And the city of Bam, near Kerman, is located in one of the worst places in Iran in terms of seismic activity. Is there anything we can do about it? (see the update)

Recommended: Visit website of International Institute of Earthquake in Iran . They have a lot of maps and data on their site. Also you can watch the movies "Through the Olive Trees" or "Life and Nothing More" directed by Abbas Kiarostami to see what goes on after a devastating earthquake.

Update: To help the victims of this tragedy, National Iranian American Council has listed several ways for sending donations. Among them, Mercy Corps sounds the easiest. You can follow this link to make your donations.

Update II: Pedram at Eyeranian also is recommending Mercy Corps for donations because they have a team on the ground and transfer donations directly to the victims. Also, I found out that Nema Milanina at Iranian Truth is provinding continous updates on the situation (through Jeff Jarvis).

Update III: Ben Wisner in his opinion piece wonders why so many people should die when the knowledge of preventing earthquake exists. This article once again reminds us that the long term solution is changing basic practices in building houses. I am also upset why so many people died in Caspian Sea region in 1990 earthquake and no action was taken afterward to prevent future massive loss of human lives. Just look at the map, Bam/Kerman is in the middle of high seismic activity region. The other points with high seismic activities are Tabas and Rudbar/Manjil, which both had terrible earthquakes in past decades. I do not know much geology, but I have heard and read that you might not be able to say exactly when but you can say where earthquakes are going to happen. Now, experts have been warning about about a massive earthquake in Tehran for several years but neither government nor people care. Solving this needs a prolonged campaign in order to start a crusade (jihad) for protecting lives against earthquakes.

After thinking about this, I also remembered why I am sometimes hesitant to encourage people to donate money: I am afraid this will distract them from paying attention to the systematic solutions. I still donate money myself because I think it has many personal and social benefits but not because I have any illusion that donating is a real solution.

Update IV: Iranian Shargh newspaper reports that 600 foreign rescuers have come to Bam. Americans with 146, Turks with 130, Austrians with 122 and Russians with 120 people are the biggest teams.

someone! at December 26, 2003 06:11 PM [permalink]:

talk is cheap! i wish you would have written about how people could help! you could perhaps provide info on how people can make donations in order to help the people of Bam.

Mehdi Yah. at December 26, 2003 06:16 PM [permalink]:

I am in process of looking for ways that people can donate. I'll update my post shortly.

Ali Mostashari at December 26, 2003 08:46 PM [permalink]:

You can help by donating to MercyCorps. Copy the link and paste it all in one line.

A Reader at December 27, 2003 03:03 AM [permalink]:

I used the MercyCorps link to donate, but there was a problem in submiting my credit card info. After submitting all the information, it told me that I had probably misspelled my credit card info. I tried it many times but got the error message all the same. Did any one else encounter the same problem?

Mehdi Yah. at December 27, 2003 03:28 AM [permalink]:

To "A Reader":
MercyCorps worked fine for me. I guess you can try a different web browser or a different credit card. I had also problems with making a payment today for something else. I guess in my case, the problem was due to using Mozilla instead of IE.

Vahid at December 27, 2003 03:20 PM [permalink]:

Today I read the dead toll has climbed to 25,000.
80% of Arg_e Bam the 2000 old historical city is also ruined. You can also donate money on RedCrossCanada web site :

Behrang at December 29, 2003 03:50 AM [permalink]:

Alternative ways to make donations:

1- Canadian Red Cross accepts donations
via phone (1-800-418-1111) or online

You could also send a cheque to:

Canadian Red Cross National Office,
170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa,
Ontario, K2P 2P2

2- International Red Cross. Check out:

Reza at January 6, 2004 10:24 AM [permalink]:

TIM and VODAFON, the most important companies for mobile communication in Italy, have decided to help Iranian children, withe co-operation of UNICEF, in unique way: You call specified number and they reduce 1 Euro from your credite for this reason. Most of Italian TV channels show this declaration regurally. After it, I have faced to a crucial question: We are poor people in this scale?

man at January 8, 2004 06:43 PM [permalink]:

sokhanan e bi sharmaaneh: LINK