Iran: Qeshm Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0213

OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Qeshm Earthquake - Iran
Occurred 27 November 2005

This report is based on information received from the OCHA office in Tehran and the outcome of the UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) meeting held on 30 November.


1. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake, with a depth of 18 kms, lasting around 10 seconds occurred in the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm in northern Iran on 27 November at 13:53 pm local time (10:23 am GMT). The epicenter was Darghahan Port, north of the Island (at the village of Ziranak which was more than 80 percent destroyed). Several aftershocks, ranging between 3.6 and 5.4 magnitude on the Richter scale, have since rocked the affected regions.

2. Reportedly, to date, a total number of 8 people have died and 100 injured in the affected city of Qeshm and 16 villages that cover an area of 1,500 sq km. The total affected population is 17, 510 individuals (3,307 families). Of the 100 injured, 70 people have been released from the hospital after receiving basic treatment. In addition, in Qeshm there are 1,100 refugees (mostly Iraqis). As per the primary assessment, 2,600 buildings have been affected, of which 50 are schools (comprises of up to 60 percent of the schools in the area, of which a third are destroyed) and four out of nine (UNICEF supported) early child-care centers are destroyed. There is severe structural damage in the villages and medical/health supplies are low due to the fact that one of the two hospitals on the island is destroyed and other is over capacity.

3. The emergency period is phasing out with the affected population temporarily sheltered, electricity, water, and telephone services running, and roads, airport (although damaged) working again. According to the governor of the city, relief, shelter, and security for the affected areas are satisfactory and the situation is under control. The Federation delegation in Tehran is closely monitoring the situation, keeping in close contact with the IRCS. The earthquake did not cause any damage to main oil distribution and storage facilities nor did it cause any Tsunami in the Persian Gulf region. Reconstruction of the affected areas is expected to start shortly.

National Response

4. Provincial local disaster task forces were immediately activated and all specialized working groups became operational with three helicopters dispatched to affected areas. The following non-food items were distributed: 110 tents; 1798 mouquet sheets; 3620 blanket sheets; 6 2,000 litres capacity tankers of water. Food ration for one month has been provided to 15,000 people.

5. The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) deployed some 184 relief workers, 2 search and rescue teams, 3 relief helicopters, 6 water tankers of 2,000 liters, 26 trucks and trailers, 3 ambulances, and 10 cars were dispatched to the affected areas. IRCS also distributed non-food and food items to the affected areas.

International Response

6. The United Nations Disaster Management Team in Iran was on alert since first hours of the disaster. The United Nations was in constant contact with the government of Iran with updates. The UN RC a.i. on behalf of the UN system in Iran on the second day of the disaster submitted a letter of sympathy to the Government, offering the UN's assistance. Although the Government of Iran issued no official request for assistance, the UNDMT meeting was held on Wednesday 30 Nov 2005. The UNDMT have identified water, sanitation and children (UNICEF), health and nutrition (WHO) and shelter (UNDP) as the main areas of focus. The UNDMT after taking into consideration dimensions and nature of the disaster decided not to activate UNDMC. In this regard the UNDMT decided to dispatch a team of experts, beginning of next week, in the abovementioned sectors to assess the damages and provide UNDMT with advice on further actions.

7. OCHA Geneva will remain in contact with the Tehran office and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

8. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

MAP: Iran: Qeshm earthquake - Situation map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:

Ms. Sanjana Quazi
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 28 10

Mr. Jamie McGoldrick
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 17 12

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


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