Very heavy earthquake in Southern Iran

Iran earthquake December 20 2010

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UPDATE 22:18 UTC : Iranian "Unexpected Events" headquarters stated in a report that there were no reports yet of the Relief and Assistance teams that were dispatched to the quake hit area.
Based on the number of reports coming out of the different press sources in Iran, we can assume that the Iranian Rescue services are very frightened for what will be coming.
Iranians are always talking about Hosein abad (Hoseinabad), as the village most at risk for this earthquake.  We however have noticed on satellite images and also based on the location of the epicenter as positioned by the Iranian Seismology Center, that other villages are closer to the epicenter than Hoseinabad.

UPDATE 21:13 UTC : IRNA news agency just reported that communications have been disturbed severely in and around the epicenter area.

UPDATE 21:03 UTC : Iranian PRESS TV reports : no immediate reports of casualties or damage. This is the most MISUSED sentence in earthquake reporting. Although it is always true (immediate), one should better wait for serious reports before communicating such a statement. Everybody following earthquakes from very close,  knows that this kind of Magnitude in Iran will at least generate damage if not more. We hope that rescue teams will be able to reach the villages close to the epicenter soon and will deliver a serious report on eventual damage.

UPDATE 20:09 UTC : GDACS published a GREEN earthquake alert for this earthquake = very limited chance on damage and/or injuries. does not agree with GDACS on this earthquake and calls this earthquake a high risk earthquake. We truly hope that we are wrong !

UPDATE 19:51 UTC : ISC (Iranian Seismological Center) is reporting a Magnitude of 6.5 at a depth of 5 km.
The distances from the epicenter to the bigger villages and cities are : 16 Km of Hosein abad, 30 Km of Mohamad abad and 48 Km of Fahraj.
ISC has a location error margin of only 2.61 in North-South direction and 3.33 km in East-West direction.
The location of the epicenter is following ISC right below the 93 highway.  If you look on the satellite picture, you can see a cillage at only 2,000 meter from the epicenter. This village can be leveled if the epicenter location is correct.
See these villages on this satellite image (with thanks to Google maps) - green arrow.  Nemet abad, looks like the closest to the epicenter (at approx. 10 km).

UPDATE 19:25 UTC : Still no news from Iran. As it is dark and as the epicenter is located in a rural area with only small villages it will take some time before the word gets out.
We keep you updated when more info becomes available.

A very heavy earthquake just happened in Southern Iran.
Ar 22:11 (10:11 PM) a very powerful and shallow earthquake occurred in the Iranian desert close to Road 93.  Some smaller villages are located at a distance of 10 to 20 km from the epicenter.
These villages are :  Kaskuh, Darundeh, Dulab, Nemetabad, Sangabad and Bagerabad.
Due to the kind of fault lines Iran earthquakes and the building methods exceeding M 6 are extremely dangerous.
It will take a little before the Iranian press will publish more details on this earthquake (our experience based on many prior earthquakes).
The epicenter location has an error margin of 14.6 km.
USGS has calculated that about 735 people will endure a MMI VIII (Severe shaking).
19,000 people a VII, very strong shaking.
The city of Bam, destructed almost completely in another earthquake in a recent history, will get a V MMI shaking today.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M 6.3
UTC time :  Monday, December 20, 2010 at 18:41:59 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Monday, December 20, 2010 at 10:11:59 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 12.4 km
Satellite map of the earthquake area + I Did Feel It form
Geo-location(s) :
Close to the villages of Baravat, Nemetabad, Sangabad and Bagerabad
Closest city : 109 km SE Bam (pop 99,268

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS impact on population map
LIVE SEISMOGRAM (nearest Seismograph station at Ankara)
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)

QuakeSOS has been developed to help actively people who are caught in an earthquake + delivers "Earthquake Report" information on your iPhoneQuakeSOS is a FREE iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with "Earthquake Report" news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS will be your closest earthquake friend.


  1. James Daniell says:

    Hi there,
    5 people killed so far, but it should be far above that...

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      We agree James. We do fear for the worst + we fear also for a lot of damage on houses.