Iran - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 99/0060
Iran - Earthquake
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
10 May 1999


1. On Friday, 7 May 1999, at 03:31 a.m. local time (23:01 GMT) a strong earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale (6.3 according to the United States Geological Survey) hit an area west of the city of Shiraz in the Province of Fars in southern Iran. Among a series of aftershocks, two other earthquakes measuring 5.4 and 4.7 followed within the next couple of hours. The tremors were felt strongly in Shiraz and Kazeron.

2. The total population of the stricken area is about 17,000 to 18,000 living in some 40 small villages. The largest village is Richi with a population of less than 1,000. The population is a mix of Farsi speaking and Ghashghai settled nomads. Most of the residents have relatives in the vicinity of Shiraz and Kazeron. People make their living from agriculture and from work in the adjacent cities.

3. According to a report received from the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office, the death figure stands at 26; the number of injured at 100. The National Disaster Task Force of the Ministry of the Interior (DTF) puts the physical damage at between 40 and 100 per cent in 20 villages and below 40 per cent in 18 settlements. No precise figure is yet available for the extent of damage to houses, schools, medical centres, irrigation systems and roads. In Richi, where the damage is considered to have been very severe, the school has totally collapsed but the medical centre is functional. The DTF estimates that over one thousand houses need to be rebuilt. Water pipes are all damaged but are being promptly repaired. Power lines are reconnected. There is no immediate health hazard.

National response

4. The relief operation has been fast and effective. The provincial DTF is in charge of coordination and the Red Crescent is playing the lead role in relief activities. The first Red Crescent ambulance reached the stricken area in less than an hour. Within a few hours all the injured had been evacuated to Shiraz and Kazeron. Almost all households have been issued with a tent by the Red Crescent which they can use in the courtyards while aftershocks occur. Relatives of the stricken population rushed to the area from Shiraz and Kazeron within hours of the disaster, and their support has been a major contribution to the success of the operation.

5. The national authorities plan to initiate a cheap housing loan programme under which the impacted population will receive low interest long term loans of up to Rials 8,000,000 (approx. USD 1,175) with which to rebuild their houses.

6. Considering the intensity of this earthquake, the losses are limited by Iranian standards. The emergency and relief phases have been well managed at the provincial level and it is not expected that an appeal for international assistance will be issued.

7. OCHA is in close contact with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tehran, Iran, who is closely monitoring the development of the situation. OCHA is also in contact with the international relief community.

8. This is the last OCHA situation report for this disaster unless there are unforeseen developments.

9. This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Ms. S. Metzner-Strack/Mr. R. Mueller/Ms. M. Kondo,
OCHA Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel. +41-22-917-21 44 / 31 31 / 19 97
Press contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, direct Tel. +41-22-917 23 36

Telex: 414242 OCHA CH
Fax: +41-22-9187 00 23

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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