Earthquake in Bam, Iran

30 December 2003 - 31 December 2003
Military personnel

On 26 December 2003, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale hit the Iranian city of Bam, situated in the south-eastern corner of the country, in the province of Kerman.

Bam was a historic city, which lay on the silk trade route between Europe and Asia and which flourished under the rule of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1722). The earthquake severely damaged the 2.000-year-old citadel and the historic city centre was practically razed to the ground. As many of the buildings were made of clay, almost 60% of the city was destroyed.

On 2 January 2004, the Iranian authorities officially called off the search for survivors, even though people were still being pulled out of the rubble alive. It is estimated that more than 26.000 people died, 9.000 were injured and 60.000 people lost their homes.