|.: Formations of Natural Catastrophes :.|
Earthquakes Case Study: Bam Earthquake, IranBam, Iran • Located South-eastern corner Kerman province • Middle of the Southern trade route • 350km west of the modern day Pakistan and 450km north of the Persian Gulf ANCIENT BAM Bam is an ancient city located in Iran. Many of its buildings are made of bricks, wood and straw, one of the main reasons why there where so much destruction of buildings and structures and loss of lives as a result of the earthquake. Compared to earthquakes in other more developed countries, the casualty rate of this earthquake is extremely high. Bam is surrounded by vast areas of inhospitable deserts. The city’s inception is believed to be around 250BC to 225AD. Bam is indeed an extraordinary historical site. Ancient wonders like the Coliseum and the Great Wall of China only provide tourists with a slice of history during one period of time, while Bam gives tourists the imprints of over 2000 years of life. Ancient structures made of clay, buildings, schools, houses and recreation areas, etc, bear testament to this. Many of these structures are the structures you would have seen hundreds of year ago. You would not need much imagination to see how the people of Bam lived thousands of years ago, their recreations, jobs, places of worship, etc. What Happened An earthquake struck the ancient city of Bam, Iran on 20th Boxing day, 26 December 2004, Killing an estimated 43, 000 people and demolishing several ancient ruins in the city. A magnitude 6.6 quake struck the southeastern city of Bam on December 26, killing an estimated 43,000 people and destroying a 2,000 year-old fortress near the city. Iranian authorities ended general search-and-rescue operations on Jan 2, 2004. Relief and volunteer workers from other parts of Iran have pitched in to help rescue victims of this massive earthquake. Volunteers from 60 other countries have also lent a helping hand. Tens of thousands of survivors were left homeless, without any basic necessities. The aim of the volunteer workers is to help them. Local people have told reporters that on the afternoon of the 25th of December there were some light tremors in the area but this would not be unusual for the region. Friday is not a working day in Iran so many people came home for the weekend on the evening of Thursday the 25th of December. At around 4am on Friday the 26th there was an earthquake, which shook houses. Some people got up and went out into the street but after a short period they returned to their beds. Then at 5.27am the second earthquake struck. It measure 6.6 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was the city of Bam. Given the level of destruction it is probably safe to assume that the earthquake occurred close to the surface. Buildings collapsed. Roofs and ceilings tend to be made of many layers of bricks to keep the house cool in summer. These collapsed immediately burying tens of thousands of people under tons of rubble.