HB councillor starts Bam Earthquake fund

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Thanks to Councillor Nader Fekri for this news item

On Boxing Day an earthquake hit the south-eastern Iranian city of Bam, and while Iran experiences earthqaukes on a regular basis, this earthquake however, was different both in scope and scale.

This earthquake struck at about 5:30 am local time when many people were still in bed, hence the high mortality rate. Among the 50,000 dead were some 10,000 pupils and well over 1,200 teachers - at least 6,000 children lost at least one parent. Nearly 90% of the buildings in the town were damaged or totally destroyed. To put that in perspective that is a town the size of Halifax totally wiped out.

People have lived in Bam and in its vicinity from 6,000 years ago. In ancient times, people lived in a citadel, which is now known as Arg. The Arg-e-Bam is made of sun-dried bricks, and according to Persian history it goes back to 2000 years and has been repaired so many times, and was still inhabited until 150 years ago. The Arg, has been almost irreparably damaged.

There are now some 15,000 families in tent cities where they have been given a tent, blankets, water, basic supplies, a stove, and a hot meal each day. Nevertheless, this the depth of winter in that region of Iran and temperatures often drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius.

There is now an urgent need for post recovery supplies. To this end, a group of us have decided to set up a fund to send much-needed clothes, blankets, charcoal stoves, water filters, candles and other supplies. Furthermore we hope to benefit concert in a few weeks to raise even more funds. If you can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me.

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