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.
“I have Felt it” Reports –> see below + Let us know “how you have felt this earthquake”
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).
Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available
Update 21/01 – 15:50 UTC
- The Neyshabour hospital is so badly damaged that it is labeled as “total loss” by Iranian authorities
- In searching for images from the damage of this earthquake, we have seen a number of reports showing badly damaged houses and often in small letters : stock images, etc. We think that such information is an offense to reality as people tend to look at the pictures first. We can accept these pictures if it is clearly stated from which earthquake that they have been picked.
Update 20/01 – 23:55 UTC
85 aftershocks have been counted a couple of hours ago. 236 people have been injured and have been or are being treated in hospitals, slightly up from last update.
Update 20/01 – 14:13 UTC
The injury toll has risen significantly to 228 people reported. Many were injured by falling glass and other falling objects. In addition, a hospital was damaged significantly. Around 2500 people are reported to be in shelter sites.
Update 20/01 – 09:43 UTC
The Iranian Red Crescent Society reported earlier today that 110 people have been injured and that 620 families have settled in shelter sites. 15 rescue teams have been dispatched to help with the aftermath of this earthquake. The report also states that the following (bigger) cities have been damaged by the earthquake : Neishabour, Mashhad, Joveyn, Quchan, Chenaran (ER: this does not take into account the smaller towns and villages)
Update 23:05 :
Message just arrived from a person we know : My friend who lives in Neyshabour said that more than 40 after-quakes had been felt by locals. Many left their houses to the streets or inside their cars. The temperature drops to -8 °C during the night. Currently it is -4°C. You can imagine how hard it must be to stay outside in the freezing cold. The sky is clear what means on the positive side that it will be dry but at the negative side that the temperatures drop even further.
Update 18:56 :
IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports that at least 100 people have been injured during the earthquake.
Update 17:46 :
FARS agency reports that 42 people have been injured and hospitalized in the hospitals at Nayshabur, 6 more than mentioned in an earlier update.
Update 16:43 :
50 houses in Neyshabur have been damaged so far. Power was cutoff for approx. 40 minutes.
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!
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 earthquake-report.com 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.
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.
Update 13:55 :
Wapmerr the theoretical earthquake damage engine is expecting from 0 to 350 fatalities and from 100 to 2,000 injured people. Theoretical calculations can be very difficult as the location of the epicenter (and this the error margin – see below) can create less or even more damage. Theoretical damage engines are taking into account the historic earthquakes as well.
Wapmerr has used VII MMi for 176,350 people, 28,511 people at VI MMI and 112,101 as V MMI.
Update 13:36 :
Earthquake-Report.com calls this earthquake EXTREMELY dangerous due to the close-by city of Nayshabur and the type of fault zones in the area. Iran has very well organized and trained earthquake rescue teams. One of the major problems at the moment will be the darkness. It is currently 17:32 in Iran.
Update 13:30 :
Nayshabur ((also written as Nishapur or Neyshaboor) has 221000 people and is located very close to the epicenter on the USGS version.
IIEES reports the epicenter at 13 km from Nayshabur. This city is one of the most prosperous in Iran!
Update 13:27 :
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.6 km (8.5 miles); depth +/- 4 km (2.5 miles)
Update 13:19 :
Following the calculations of USGS 265,000 people will experience a very strong shaking
Update 13:18 :
A few very big cities are located in an area of max. 65 km.
Update 13:10 :
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has caused casualties in Mashhad in Northern Iran.
Update 13:05 :
The earthquake was felt for 5-7 seconds but very strongly.
Update 13:00 UTC :
The earthquake has caused disruptions in telecommunications.
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“I Have Felt It” reports as received by Earthquake-Report.com
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.
Mashhad : I felt it. Too dangerous! I was in 3rd floor in my house. Everything were shaking
Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) : indicating a light shaking
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.6
UTC Time : Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 12:35:51 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 04:05:51 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10.4 km
11 km (6 miles) NE of Neyshabur, Iran
64 km (39 miles) W of Mashhad, Iran
Links to important maps
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται –Yo lo he sentido – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه