Tabriz, Iran Dangerous Earthquakes

2 extremely dangerous shallow earthquakes in the greater Tabriz, Iran area – 50+ people injured, more reports to come

Last update: August 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm by By


Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M6.2
UTC Time : Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 12:23:17 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 03:53:17 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.7 km
Geo-location(s) :
20 km (12 miles) WSW of Ahar, Iran
60 km (37 miles) ENE of Tabriz, Iran

Shaking map based on a Magnitude of 6.2 and a depth of 9.7 km – image courtesy USGS

Important update 13:00 UTC : The first M6.2 earthquake was followed 11 minutes later by an even stronger M6.3 aftershock. This second earthquake had a slightly different epicenter.

Based on preliminary data a strong to very strong earthquake happened a few minutes ago in Western Iran.
We are currently collecting more material and will report accordingly
Preliminary epicenter at 60 km from Tabriz. Tabriz has a population if 1.4 million people). Tabriz is not too close to the epicenter, wo damage, if any, will be moderate
The closest city to the epicenter is however Ahar, a city with a population of 94348 (latest census).
Theoretical intensity calculations are expecting very strong to severe shaking in the epicenter area.
We will start-up an in-depth article as soon as possible.

Update 14:29 UTC : The city of Varzeghan is reported by Iran media as the epicenter of this earthquake. Varzeghan or Varzgan is not a small village but rather a small town (see satellite image below).

Satellite image of the city of Varzeghan (Varzgan, vrzgan) epicenter of the August 11 2012 Iran earthquake

Important update 14:12 UTC : ER reader Mehran comments that Mehr news is reporting heavy damage to clay housing, victims transferred to hospitals, and the epicenter is reported to be the village of Varzgan.

Update 14:07 UTC : Emergency evaluation teams have been send to Tabriz and Ahar were telecommunications and power have been cut. Iran has very good organized emergency and SAR teams and can handle a lot of damaging earthquakes with their own troops and material. evaluates Iran earthquake response as one of the best in the world!

Update 13:54 UTC : Mobile telecommunication problems in Tabriz. Panic but no reports of damage or casualties yet. Iran has one of lowest attenuation q values meaning that seismic waves attenuate or diminish faster with distance than other parts of the world.

Update 13:53 UTC : USGS has just updated his Iran report and comes now with at least 6000 people who will have experienced the super dangerous Severe shaking (MMI VIII) and 186000 people having received a very strong shaking (MMI VII)

Satellite view of Ahar, Iran a city with 85000 inhabitants and close to the epicenter – image courtesy Google and its contributors

Important update 13:43 UTC : WAPMERR, the theoretical earthquake damage engine, has calculated that based on the Geofon earthquake data and epicenter, 100 to 500 deaths may be expected. Our experience with Geofon is that this estimate will be hopefully reviewed to lower numbers (like often elsewhere). WAPMERR is however an indication that this earthquake is a really dangerous one!

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