Talk:2003 Bam earthquake

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As we are trying to rewrite the article[edit]

... this tezt is in our way. We will work to integrate it into the article:

In this earthquake, Bam Citadel — "the biggest adobe structure of the world" — and most of the city of Bam proper were devastated.[1] The BBC reported that "70% of the modern city of Bam" was destroyed. Death toll numbers as high as 80,000 were rumoured on the street and 70,000 reported in the media. However, the total death toll was given as 56,230 on January 17 and the latest estimate from Tehran has halved previous estimates to 26,271 deaths. An additional 10,000 – 50,000 were reported injured, however this number is very uncertain; the most reported number is 30,000, which may have originated from an early Reuters account. According to the Iranian news agency IRNA, the old Bam Citadel was "levelled to the ground".

Relief efforts and reconstruction[edit]

The earthquake damage in Bam

An international relief effort to help the survivors got underway once news of the scale of the disaster reached the outside world, and "many" countries sent supplies and rescue workers.

Rescue efforts quickly became a body recovery exercise, with many of the dead being buried in mass graves with the mullahs sanctioning abbreviated Islamic burial rites due to the huge numbers and fear of disease. Rescue workers reported that the collapsing mud-brick structures had completely disintegrated and buried people in piles of earth, rather than trapping them in voids or air pockets between building slabs, as would happen in a concrete building collapse. Those few who did survive being trapped were generally rescued within the first few hours, after being dug out by local survivors, or were trapped in ventilated air pockets. Among the survivors of the earthquake was 97-year-old Sharbānou Māzandarānī (شهربانو مازندرانی in Persian), who was trapped in her home for eight days. Rescue workers took three hours to dig her out after sniffer dogs found her. She survived by being under a table near a ventilation pipe.[2]

The international relief effort staged in the earthquake's aftermath helped to thaw relations somewhat between Iran and western countries. Numerous countries (including the United States and UK) sent supplies and search-and-rescue teams including the International Rescue Corps. In February of 2004 Bam was visited by Charles, Prince of Wales, a further indication of the improvement of international relations following the disaster.[3]

Reconstruction of Bam has been a slow process. In May 2006 it was reported that rebuilding of the city had yet to begin, although plans existed. The mass bereavement and homelessness caused by the disaster led to a huge rise in opium addiction and prostitution, leading to a rise in AIDS cases. There has also been a decline in school attendance.[4]


  1. ^ "Unique burial ritual identified in Iran". PressTV. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  2. ^ "97-year-old quake victim rescued in Iran". China Daily. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  3. ^ "Prince Charles tours quake-hit Bam". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  4. ^ "After the earthquake, Bam battles with heroin and Aids" (retrieved 22 June 2008)

Your friend Eddy of the wiki[citation needed] 21:12, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Note about casualties removed[edit]

I removed the following note from the lead:

An unnamed senior Interior Ministry official estimated the death toll to be as high as 50,000. Another unnamed official agreed with this, though Khatami denounced the toll estimate as it was "definitely not 50,000." ("Iran quake toll may hit 50,000", China Daily Group (2003))

At first, I removed it because it was unsourced, but I found sources. Now I'm removing it for a different reason--that was a speculative statement made long prior to official estimates. It's like when any disaster first happens, and people (even "officials") make estimates about what they think the death toll will be in the future. That information may have been interesting when the event was ongoing, but at this point we don't need to worry about what the "future" estimates were, and can safely report what the current estimates are. If anyone has an after the fact source saying that the official estimate may be wrong, then we could add that. I would add it directly into the text, not as a "note" Qwyrxian (talk) 02:15, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

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