December 26, 2003


Iran quake may leave 10,000 dead (AP, 12/26/03)

A severe earthquake devastated the historic city of Bam in southeast Iran on Friday, and a preliminary estimate said the death toll could reach 10,000. [...]

The United Nations disaster management team in Tehran has asked the Iranian government if it needs help and was to meet later Friday to assess the situation, said Elizabeth Byrs, Geneva spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

She said there had been no request from Tehran so far.

Roy Probert, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the umbrella group also has had no requests. Probert said the Iranian Red Crescent is well-prepared for earthquakes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences over the earthquake.

In a telegram to Iranian President Mohamed Khatami, Putin said he was "deeply shocked by an earthquake in Iran that brought numerous victims and destruction" and offered his "sincere condolences to the leadership and people of Iran."

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Marina Ryklina said that two Il-76 transport aircraft with rescue workers and equipment were to leave for Iran later Friday.

We should provide any assistance we can--and that they're willing to accept--too.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2003 8:55 AM

There is actually a thread at the Democratic Underground discussing the conspiracy theory that Bush somehow caused the earthquake !

Posted by: jd watson at December 27, 2003 12:58 AM