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Iran: Hormozgan Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 1

Countries
Iran
Sources
IFRC
Publication date

This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Iranian Red Crescent Society (Iranian RC) has determined that external assistance is not required, and is therefore not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time.

An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit southern Iran on 10 September 2008 at 15:30 local time (11:00 GMT). So far, six people were killed and 46 were injured. According to the local government, the size of damage is not too big and the disaster is controllable.

The Iranian RC branch in Hormozgan has deployed rapid assessment teams to assess the situation and the National Society's disaster management staff and volunteers are on alert in the neighbouring Red Crescent branches. The National Society has provided emergency items and set up more than 2,000 relief tents.

The Situation

Few hours after a moderate quake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, a powerful earthquake measuring 6.1 rocked the surrounding area between Qeshm Island and Khamir port near Bandar Abbas in southern Iran on 10 September 2008. The earthquake occurred at 15:30 local time (11:00 GMT) at a depth of 55.7 km. The quake lasted 30 seconds and spread panic amongst people who ran to the streets in search of shelter. The epicentre was Bandare-Laft, 57 km (36 miles) west of Bandar Abbas.

So far, six people were killed and 46 others were injured. Three out of six lost their lives because of falling down the cracked walls. The most affected villages are Gorbedan, Roudan, Koushe, Tonban, and Eskelekaveh in the region but the quake also demolished nearly 10 villages in Qeshm Island, southern province of Hormozgan.

Officials at the state Crisis Management Organisation affiliated to the Iranian Ministry of Interior reported that the quake jolted an area which enjoys reconstructed buildings with enough resistant against disasters as it has experienced a strong earthquake in 2005. According to the local government, the size of damage is not too big and the disaster is controllable. In the hours following the earthquake, an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.7 on the Richter scale also struck the affected region with no more aftershocks since then. Iran is often shaken by quakes of varying magnitudes, as it sits on some of the world's most active seismic fault lines.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Iranian RC branch in Hormozgan has deployed rapid assessment teams to assess the situation in the affected areas. A relief helicopter is regularly flying over the field to monitor and assess the situation in addition to evacuating the injured from the region to the nearby medical centres. Disaster management staff and volunteers of the National Society are on alert and standby in the neighbouring Red Crescent branches in Kerman, Fars and Sistan-Balouchestan. Iranian RC volunteers and personnel from local branches of the province are still providing assistance to the evacuated people who stood awake till late after last midnight.

The Iranian RC and the International Federation's country office in Tehran continue to monitor the situation alongside the local National Disaster Task Force, National Platform of Iran, and Provincial Governor General of Hormozgan. The local government invites people to be calm and to stay away from cracked walls and damaged buildings, whilst continuing to provide information and warning for the communities and people through the local TV and radio channels.

The National Society's headquarters is also monitoring the situation in close coordination with Hormozgan branch. Iranian RC provided emergency items and shelter materials in addition to setting up more than 2,000 relief tents for those affected in the disaster.

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The International Federation's activities are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

- In Iran: Seyed Hadi Samaei, Director General of International Affairs Department, Iranian Red Crescent Society, Tehran; email: intdep@rcs.ir; mobile: +98 912 3847050; phone: +98 21 88662618-19; fax: +98 21 88662652

- In Iran: Chang Hun Choe, Federation Representative, Tehran; email: ch.choe@ifrc.org; mobile: +98 912 2172507; phone: +98 21 88672424-28; fax: +98 21 88672429

- In Jordan: Eduard Tschan, Deputy Head, Middle East and North Africa Zone, Amman (temporary); phone: +962 79 5042922; email: eduard.tschan@ifrc.org

- In Geneva: Linda Stops, Operations Coordinator; phone: +41 22 730 43 00; fax: +41 22 730 03 95; email: linda.stops@ifrc.org