1930 Salmas earthquake

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1930 Salmas earthquake
1930 Salmas earthquake is located in Iran
1930 Salmas earthquake
Date 6 May 1930 (1930-05-06)
Origin time 22:34 UTC [1]
Magnitude 7.2 (Richter scale)
Epicenter 38°00′N 44°42′E / 38.0°N 44.7°E / 38.0; 44.7Coordinates: 38°00′N 44°42′E / 38.0°N 44.7°E / 38.0; 44.7 [1]
Areas affected Iran
Casualties at least 2,500 dead [1]

The 1930 Salmas earthquake occurred on May 6, 1930 in Salmas, West Azerbaijan Province (Iran). Occurring about a year after the 1929 Baghan-Gifan earthquake, the earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale and 7.4 surface wave magnitude and resulted in 2,500 direct fatalities. One foreshock occurred prior to the rupture, and multiple aftershocks also occurred. The earthquake is also listed within the strongest eight earthquakes to occur in Iran since 1900.[2]


The epicentral area (Salmas Plain) is 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) and is positioned northwest of Lake Urmia. This area is extremely isolated and villages are spread apart. The houses mainly consist of mud and adobe brick.[2]

Two faults (Salmas and Derik) experienced faulting due to the rupture. The Salmas Fault showed offsets of 4 metres (13 ft) horizontally and vertically 5 metres (16 ft).[3]

Damage and casualties[edit]

Around 60 villages within the epicentral region (the Salmas Plain) were demolished. Within these, approximately 40 churches were also destroyed.[2] Ten of these were built between the eleventh and fifteenth century; an additional eleven were built between the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Two statues were destroyed in Kuhnen Shahr (now Tazeh Shahr) along with any others located in the epicentral valley. For several hours after the main shock, stream's flows were disrupted but presumably returned to normal direction. Landslides and rockfalls were also generated from the surrounding mountains.[4]

The most damaged villages were Haftavan, Dilman, Kuche Mashk and Kalashan. Primarily these towns shared the same effects—collapsed buildings, falling walls, and similar damage. Some of these areas even experienced fissures.[2] One town, Dilman, was ultimately destroyed. However, due to a foreshock (in which 25 died) the residents were able to evacuate the area prior to the main shock, eventually saving several-thousand lives. A total of 1,100 died in the town from the actual earthquake.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Utsu, T. R. (2002), "A List of Deadly Earthquakes in the World: 1500-2000", International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology, Part A, Volume 81A (First ed.), Academic Press, p. 704, ISBN 978-0124406520 
  2. ^ a b c d Tchalenko, J.S.; Berberian, M. (1974). "The Salmas (Iran) earthquake of May 6, 1930". Annali di Geofisica (Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia) 27 (1–2): 151–212. 
  3. ^ a b "Earthquakes with 1,000 or More Deaths since 1900". United States Geological Survey. January 29, 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ Ambraseys, N.N.; Melville, C.P. (2005). A History of Persian Earthquakes. Cambridge University Press. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-521-02187-1.