Iran — Major Earthquake

Very strong deadly earthquake in Southern Iran – At least 40 dead and over 1000 injured (also well felt in KSA and the UAE)

Last update: April 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm by By

SUMMARY 14:00- The towns closest to the epicenter have suffered greatly.
– The death toll remains at 12, however is expected to rise in the coming hours.
– Around 40,000 people are affected most of all.
– Landslides were seen.
– A M6.1 earthquake occurred at a depth of 10km in the sparsely populated Bushehr/Kaki region.
– The Bushehr nuclear facility is running smoothly.
– Rescue teams continue to work on retrieving bodies and rescuing survivors from the masonry rubble.

Shaking map

Shaking map

UPDATE 13:49- There are currently 100 rescuers on the scene. According to the rescuers, the towns of Baghani and Senate (bad Farsi translations) in Khormoj have been 100% destroyed (it is still unclear whether the entire village has been destroyed or just some buildings). There are fatalities and injuries that are expected.

UPDATE 13:41- It is as yet unclear if any houses have been affected by the major landslides and rockfalls that have occurred in the mountains.

UPDATE 13:36- The 4 closest villages are currently being assessed. Certain routes (like the highway) closest to the earthquake-stricken areas are closed. This earthquake is rated as CATDAT Red, and is unlikely to be CATDAT Dark Red.

UPDATE 13:33- Some of the aftershocks will also be lightly felt in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. It is quite likely however that no greater earthquakes will occur than the 6.1 that occurred earlier. The quake triggered panic in Dubai’s high-rise buildings and residents rushed out (it is unclear whether any injuries resulted). Some buildings in the Dubai Marina area have been evacuated and workers sent home according to Gulf News sources.

UPDATE 13:30- Villages in Kaki and closer have some homes that have suffered 100% destruction (collapsed according to the Iran classification). These are likely to be of masonry and it can be expected that a 5-15% fatality rate occurs in these buildings.

UPDATE 13:27- At least 12 people are reported dead.

UPDATE 13:23- The death toll has risen to 5. There are scenes of destruction in Kaki, with many destroyed houses being reported. In addition damage in Borozjan Bushehr and also Khormoj. The arrival of teams from Fars and Bushehr will allow for a better range of fatality information soon. The theoretical USGS PAGER model predicts around 200 fatalities as a median (35% chance between 100-1000 fatalities), so there is a high likelihood that a higher number of fatalities will occur than currently reported.

UPDATE:- Many aftershocks have hit the region. The death toll remains at 3, however is expected to rise.

UPDATE:- The Bushehr nuclear facility (around 100km from the quake) is functioning normally.

UPDATE:- 20 rescue personnel in 4 assessment teams, and 2 helicopters have been sent. Kaki city has some destroyed houses, and some poorly built rural houses in Bushehr (around 50-60km away) have cracking. It is expected that Kaki and Khormoj will have the most destruction.


Kaki City

Kaki City

UPDATE:- Kaki city actually has 10,000 people. Thus, there is more exposure than first thought. Unfortunately, death rates of around 2-3% are not uncommon from such earthquakes. Red Crescent assessment teams have been sent to the scene.

UPDATE:- The Siraj highway is quite close to the epicenter and around 16-22km from Khormoj. 3 people have died, and there are helicopters and assistance being sent to the region. In addition, many landslides have been seen.

UPDATE:- The earthquake has occurred near the Borozjan fault, near a salt dome. There appears to be a town of around 2000 people from satellite images that is close to the earthquake epicenter. Good news is that it is further from Khormoj than first expected from the Iran epicenter.

UPDATE:- Finally news, from the earthquake epicenter where a M6.1 earthquake (local magnitude by IIEES, Iran) – there has been damage reported in Kaki County. In addition, there are scattered reports of possible casualties.

UPDATE:- It is generally bad news in Iran as there are no reports from ISNA, IRNA or Fars News currently on the earthquake. All major agencies have given a shallow 6.2 to 6.3 earthquake (GEOFON, USGS and EMSC). It is expected however that the earthquake may be slightly deeper than first thought which may reduce fatalities. Iran has a very low Q value, meaning that generally earthquake waves reduce in energy (attenuate) faster with distance.

UPDATE:- Many towers have been evacuated across Dubai and in the Middle East given the light shaking. The area of main concern however is the epicentral region. Bushehr at 90km from the epicenter should have been spared major damage, but the closer towns probably not.

UPDATE:- A M5.4 aftershock has also occurred, which will have added to the possible damage.

UPDATE:- There are approximately 3000 people living in the intensity 8 shaking zone according to the USGS PAGER model and 15000 people in the intensity 7 shaking zone. Khvormuj is a city in and capital of Dashti County, Bushehr Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 31,667, in 6,966 families. It is around 25km away from the epicenter.

A strong earthquake has been felt across the region. Magnitude 6.2 in southern Iran can often cause major damage especially when at a shallow depth. It is worth remembering that the 2003 Bam earthquake had a magnitude around 6.5, and caused around 25,000 deaths.

A M6 earthquake struck the same region of Khormoj in 1976 on the 22nd of April causing some damage but no fatalities.

It has been felt intensity IV in Dubai (probably long period waves in a high building).

This current earthquake has been felt in Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.1 (IIEES Local), 6.3Mw (USGS Global)

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-04-09 16:22:51

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-04-09 11:52:51

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 12 km, 10km

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Please note, there is some good information on the above captioned page  which states emphatically that earthquakes cannot be predicted.  I would suggest that you check it out.