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May 28, 2004

Earthquake Shook Many Cities in Iran
Arash Jalali  [info|posts]

At about 5pm today, May 28, Tehran as well as some other cities in Iran including Esfahan, Arbedil, and Sari were shaken by an earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey reported its magnitude to be 6.2 on the Richter scale but the seismology center at Tehran University reported it to be of a 5.5 magnitude. The quake was clearly felt by people in Tehran (where I am now) for about 4 or 5 seconds. Nothing seriously happened here in Tehran except maybe for a few shattered window glasses. Apparently, people living in the 2nd and 5th districts of Tehran felt it more strongly than other districts of Tehran.

The news I am getting about other cities is from the IRIB website. They have a live news feed from their website. Apparently the center of the quake has been near the small village of Yoosh (the birthplace of the famous poet) and Baladeh. According to IRIB most of casualties were among the people driving in the Chaloos road when mountain rocks started to fall off into the road.

The main reason for this post is to let those of you living abroad know that things are absolutely OK in Tehran and other big cities like Esfahan and Ardebil. I will try to update this post if there were any significant developments, but I suggest you follow the latest news from major news websites, and weblogs including the ones I have listed in the related links section below.

Related Links

Orkut at May 28, 2004 07:19 PM [permalink]:

Irrelevant comment removed by the FToI Editorial Board.

Kaveh Kh. at May 30, 2004 01:58 PM [permalink]:

I've heard that many people are frustrated with the government's inaction when it comes to any policy or planning and even precautions when it comes to earthquake and have thus become more or less apathetic.

Earthquake prediction and damage prevention seems to be a totally underfunded science in Iran and many are wondering, what the higher oil prices are going to buy if not a minimum safety for the Iranian lives...

Super Man at May 30, 2004 07:19 PM [permalink]:

Well, you made a very salient point, Kaveh. I wish someone could write something on the promises of the Islamic Republic's largely dominant conservatives since 1989 over the question of building’s safety.

I think some of us do remember that when Rafsanjani's administration came up with the Second Five Year Plan, it explicitly put the issue on the government agenda. It included laying down a better safety code that had to be implemented nationally by the end of the first fiver year plan.

My memory does not aid me more as it happened right after Roodbar tragedy, and it has been a long time, but I did not hear anything after that.

Not until does a full range of earthquake disasters happen, we are likely to see that the top dogs are shaken off their comfortable seat.

Not until then does it seem anybody is likely to decide to allocate the nation's resources to the nation’s protection; instead of her "political" suppression and/or promotion of a conservative mercantilist and anti-democratic class.

It is unfortunate and tragic from a humanist point of view.

I concede that there can be another point of view: Divine Destiny.

Can we rule out that these are divine punishments directed towards a nation increasingly unfaithful to the tenants of the Asna-Ashari faith?

An increasingly urbanizing, infidel satellite-dish channels' watching, coffee-shop going, drug-trafficking/using nation, though it is ruled by one of the greatest “electoral theocracies” of the history of Humankind.

We can also let the post-social Darwinists have a say in the matter. After all, evolution is blind and those in Japan and California are equally hit, and well…., they have managed despite being infidels.

SG at May 30, 2004 10:00 PM [permalink]:

You know, when I was a kid I used to take my hat off to any Iranian who could express herself in good English. No more.

I think Super Man's ending paragraphs are not funny at all. Get a sense of humor, Clark!

Mehdi Y. at May 31, 2004 03:20 PM [permalink]:

There is an interesting story developing. Dr. Rahimi-tabar a physicist from Sharif university is claiming that there is going to be a big earthquake in the next ten days. Geologists from Tehran University are saying this is bullshit. There is no way any one can predict this.

There is paper by Rahimi-tabar at Los Alamos archive on Earthquake prediction. The paper is very vague. I am afraid this is one of those cases where physicists see one single correlation and think they found the way to predict things without fully appreciating the complexity of the problem. Rahimi-tabar is a good physicist and scientist. He has many articles in condensed matter theory but he has only one paper(based on ISI) on earthquake prediction and that is the vague one. I hope he knows what he is doing because he is putting the credibility of Sharif's Physics Department in danger by claiming so forcefully that there is going to be an earthquake in Tehran in the next ten days. The big shots of Sharif Physics Dept are standing behind his prediction. (Alpr has a good coverage on this in his persian blog : )

SG at May 31, 2004 04:12 PM [permalink]:

You're talking about Science as if it is some sort of faith-based stuff or politics: "The big shots of Sharif Physics Dept are standing behind his prediction." As if they're saying: "He's one of us, so we've got to support him, regardless of the scientific merit of his paper". Like those who said: "My country, right ot wrong".

I don't see why the aabroo of a whole department must be jeopardized just because a member of the department may be going nuts. Why do we always have to think in these "tribal" terms? A whole department can't be taken responsible for the actions or words of its every single member.

So the way you see it here we have a war between the old rivals, Tehran University and Sharif University, and it's like they're a bunch of gladiators in the arena, or let's say, soccer players and we should take sides now. Of course, our taking sides doesn't have much to do who is closer to turth, but who you associate with. Right?

So if nothing happens in ten days, then we'll have Tehran 1, Sharif 0; but if something happens, then hooray to Sharif's team, and NOT just that guy who made the prediction.

Long time ago I was reading in an American book that Sharif University scientists were making a nuclear bomb that would be ready in 5 years or something. I shared it with a friend from that university and he said they can't even make a bicyle there and we had a good laugh.

Dashetoon at May 31, 2004 05:11 PM [permalink]:

And now we hear once again from Kolah Ghermezi!

Hazrateh Ghozmit khaan, can't you make a comment or two about the people's strife without being so sarcastic?

What is your suggestion? Perhaps educating Iranians for couple of generations until they learn how to responsibly build safe structures. But before that they have to be taught for couple of generations how to be responsible.

I really wish there were some people who could shut this idiot up!

For good and forever!

You really deserve an earthquake!

SG at May 31, 2004 07:47 PM [permalink]:

You missed all the talk under the post regarding the Bam earthquake, Yaroo. :-) A typically short memory. Eh? :-) I promise you for the next 25 years nobody will do much, if anything, towards improving the safety measures for Iranians.

P.S. As for shutting the idiots up, the feeling are mutual, Yaroo. :-) Also, I guess these people here have given up on shutting me up. It's only you who are still struggling. Too bad it's free thoughts, not "laat-khoone-ye naazi-aabaad". :-)

jahangir at June 4, 2004 02:14 PM [permalink]:

please tell me a bout with earth quick in tehran un 10 next days

sina at June 5, 2004 06:08 PM [permalink]:

U know rahimi-tabar is a great scientist. I am a sharif university student. ive the lesson physic(1) with that man. inspite of being young hes full of toughts... i suuggest to believe him. he is damn great im sure there will be a geart earthquake....

Kazem Dadkhahipour at June 8, 2004 01:12 AM [permalink]:

Hi FT!
I had some studies and experiments about data capture of bioelectrical signals by using some trees, named as Electrobotany.
It seems that using pulse-response methodes makes the root system of plants as well as a biosensor for quakes!
Please tell me that how can I get some facts in this important subject and how can I develop this idea?

saeed at June 8, 2004 03:02 AM [permalink]:

I am one of the Dr. Rahimi Tabar M.S. students.
Dr. Rahimi Tabar is a realy great physicist.