Nayshabur, Iran, Earthquake

Strong very dangerous earthquake in Iran near Nayshabur (Mashhad) – 36 people hospitalized

Last update: January 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : A very shallow magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck very close to Nayshaboor, a city with a population of 221,000 inhabitants. Especially some bigger villages close to the epicenter may be at risk.

Update 16:13 :

FARS agency reports that 36 people have been injured and hospitalized in the hospitals at Nayshabur.

Update 15:45 :
Authorities in the epicenter area are saying that this is one of the strongest earthquakes during the last decade. The shaking has lasted 5 to 7 seconds, according to local people.

Update 15:14 :
Seyed Reza Abbasi, in the exclusive interview with Gulf correspondent in Mashhad,  said that reports of damage caused by this earthquake are coming in. There are reports of cracked walls of houses and more damage in urban and rural areas, especially in the villages and monasteries.

Update 14:46 :
Red Crescent Director General of Khorasan Razavi province, said 11 groups from the department and rescue operations were dispatched to the earthquake affected areas.

Important update 14:42 :
– USGS has lowered his magnitude from M 5.6 to M 5.1. The depth was updated from 10.4 to 14 km, both updates in favor of a better ending.
– EMSC maintains a magnitude of 5.4 at a depth of 10 km.
– The local Iranian Seismological agency reports a magnitude of 5.5 at a depth of 8 km!.  The epicenter is following the Iranions just 250 meter from Mir Abad another small town. We tend to believe the Iranians most as they have the most instruments in the area and as they are very skilled seismologists. This is really bad news for Mir Abad.

Update 14:35 :
A Magnitude 4.0 aftershock happened a little while ago. Since the mainshock, IIEES recorded 20 aftershocks!

The townd calls in the highest danger area – click on the image to make it bigger

Update 14:22 :
Mashhad seems to have escaped the big shaking and reports coming in are speaking from only minor damage. Most of the attention goes now to North Neyshaboor, however we at are fearing more for the towns of Boshr Abad and Taragh, both towns with a population of of several thousand people.

Update 14:19 :
Experience report just in for Mashhad : It was the first time for me to experience such earthquake. I was resting on my bed when I felt the quack and heard the noise made by window.

Update 14:18 :
For Iranian media, this is a very important earthquake.  Iranian media are publishing updates almost every 10 minutes, very exceptional!, probably part of a big city in the area.

Update 14:16 :
Red Crescent teams are being send to North Neyshaboor. Red Crescent is the Iranian division of the Red Cross.

Update 14:12 :
As always, most of the attention goes to the big cities, but some other small towns are even closer to the earthquake epicenter like Boshr Abad, only 4 km ! and Taragh, only 5 km ! The epicenter is located at the foot of the mountains, a mountain rang. The highest summit in the mountains in the background of  Nayshabur are at a height of 3100 m and are snow covered during winter (now) , Nayshabur has an altitude of approx. 1200 m.

Update 14:04 :
Few people have an idea about the size of unknown Iranian cities like Nayshabur. The Google satellite image below gives an impression about the vast populated area. A lot of the houses are build in masonry and concrete, both vulnerable for earthquake damage if not properly build following earthquake resistant codes.

Google satellite map of the city of Neyashabur

Update 14:00 :
There are no traces of a recent damaging earthquake close to the current epicenter, which makes it difficult for estimations of damage. Another important aspect of the earthquake being dangerous or not is the focal depth or the hypocenter. If very shallow (10.4 km is very shallow) than the impact will be very high.

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