The 1978 Tabas earthquake occurred on September 16 at 19:05:55 local time in central Iran. The shock measured 7.4 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). The death toll was in the range of 15,000–25,000 with severe effects in the town of Tabas.
Eighty percent of the loss of life occurred in Tabas, but a total of 85 villages were affected. This shock was felt in Tehran, about 610 kilometers (380 mi) away. About 55–85 km (34–53 mi) of ground deformation was observed, with about 1.7 meters (5 ft 7 in) of maximum slip. Only one significant M5 aftershock occurred.