Earthquake Management in Iran
A compilation of literature on earthquake Management
Iranian Studies Group at MIT
Draft: January 6, 2004
Less than ten days ago, a deadly earthquake devastated the Iranian city of Bam, killing more than 30,000 people and injuring another 50,000. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern Iranian history, and similar in destruction to the Roudbar earthquake in northern Iran in 1990. Historical information and all available records show that approximately 130 large earthquakes have taken place in most parts of Iran. Considering the high seismicity of Iran, a
comprehensive hazard reduction program was launched in Iran in 1991, but the effectiveness of the measures have been limited by lack of adequate funding and institutional coordination. There is no lack of probabilistic studies on the seismicity of the country as well as fault studies. Comprehensive studies have been performed by Berberian (1999, 2001), Amiri et al. (2003), Sarkar et al. (2003), Modarressi (2002), Walker (2002) and Tehranizadeh (2001, 2002). A more detailed bibliography is presented at the end of this document. A closer analysis of what transforms a natural event into a human and economic disaster reveals that the fundamental problems of development that the region faces are the very same problems that contribute to its vulnerability to the catastrophic effects of natural hazards. The principal causes of vulnerability in the region include rapid and uncontrolled urbanization, the persistence of widespread urban and rural poverty, the degradation of the region's environment resulting from the mismanagement of natural resources, inefficient public policies, and lagging and misguided investments in infrastructure. Development and disaster-related policies have largely focused on emergency response, leaving a serious underinvestment in natural hazard prevention and mitigation. A proactive stance to reduce the toll of disasters in...