lessons from the tragedy in haiti

27 01 2010

[By SD]   I went to a very interesting seminar yesterday at Berkeley on the preliminary reconnaissance of the tragic Haiti Earthquake. You can watch the entire webcast on:

 http://peer.berkeley.edu/publications/haiti_2010/related_events_haiti.html.

You can find the photo collection of the speaker (Eduardo Fierro) at:

http://peer.berkeley.edu/publications/haiti_2010/images/haiti_photo_gallery_jan16/album/index.html

My overall impression was that:

1) This disaster was tragic, but unfortunately not unique. Similar to many developing countries, the tragedy was not caused by the earthquake, but by bad construction and related policies

2) We, as engineers, can help Haiti through grassroots actions, organizations, and networks, such as Build Change or GeoHazard International Read the rest of this entry »





our proposed uRespond concept sketches for the “random hacks of kindness” event

7 11 2009
URespond advisor's presentation.006-001

simple rapid user input

URespond advisor's presentation.007-001

mapping of local user updates

current emergency response protocol

Read the rest of this entry »





tehran’s minor earthquake on saturday

19 10 2009

Tehran experienced a minor earthquake (Richter magnitude 4) on Saturday at 2:23 pm local time (http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=205750). It seems that most Tehranies felt this shake. There is now a widespread fear of aftershocks and possibly bigger earthquakes due to more activities on the Eivanaki fault in southeast Tehran. Since information on the historical activity of this fault seems to be limited, it is difficult to make accurate probabilistic predictions on the likelihood of an aftershock. But it is certainly possible and quite likely to have another earthquake soon (not necessarily related to this particular fault movement). Tehran sits on major active faults and suffers from a large seismic risk due to fault activity, poor construction practice, and large population. The occurance of this recent minor earthquake may have influenced the stresses in the surrounding faults and might have increased the existing seismic risk facing Tehran.

 tehran map

Tehrani residents, engineers, contractors, general public, please be aware and pay attention to this important risk that you will have to deal with sooner or later. To learn how to protect yourself before, during, and after an earthquake, visit this site by FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/index.shtm

In two of our previous posts, we also had some good discussion on earthquake preparedness in Tehran:

http://tehranshake.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/121/

http://tehranshake.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/what-to-do-before-during-and-after-an-earthquake/

Tehrani engineers, architects, and contractors: I assume that you already know how to make earthquake resistant structures in a cost-effective way. If you have questions/concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to send you information on the current state of practice (in structural and geotechnical design) for your specific project. If you are not convinced about the risks facing your city and need more information on the probability of earthquakes in the coming years, also please don’t hesitate to let me know or contact someone at IIEES in Tehran (http://www.iiees.ac.ir/). Keep in mind that you are responsible for your building, and negligence and lack of knowledge are not acceptable any more.





iran’s population density

11 10 2009

A very interesting way of graphically showing the population density, and hence the earthquake risk facing different parts of Iran (based on their vulnerability):

iran population density





understanding earthquakes and effects

6 10 2009

Great overview of our progress and current understanding of earthquakes since the 1906 great San Francisco earthquake:





image reflection

29 09 2009

Tehran has been going through many shakes in the last few months following the presidential elections. These shakes, have, of course been non-seismic! This blog is meant to address the critical issues facing Tehran’s infrastructure and vulnerabilities, so it stayed quiet. However, although, during this sensitive time, infrastructure and role of engineers may seem to many of us as un-important or the last item on our list of priorities, it is in fact a fundamental step toward the common goals of all Iranians, regardless of their political agenda or crises.

Tehran remains to be highly divided and the government seems more divided than its subjects. But that is not my concern, as I’m sure many others are working on that. I am actually concerned about that part of us responsible for our own daily actions. I hear that construction projects are more or less dead in Tehran these days but are starting to move forward gradually. In the past few months, we have all been shaken hard by the wave of excitement and tragedies of our fellow Iranians. We all feel like we’ve been hit in the head a few times every day, watching the news or video clips of new stories. It’s draining, I know. But I also know that we always have a tendency to criticize others and not ourselves – the easiest job in the world.

Let me start with myself: I am trying hard to, as we say in Persian, not forget my mirror when I want to criticize others, including my friends, parents, teachers, and leaders. Read the rest of this entry »





tehran disaster management

13 05 2009

[By SD]   I came across this link yesterday and thought it might be interesting to TehranShake: www.tdmmo.ir13850810-204031-portal2





informal settlements in tehran

18 01 2009

[by SR] I am reading a book by a sociology professor about “informal settlements” in Tehran.  It talks about the history and activities of slum dwellers and squatters, hashiehneshinan (حاشیه نشینان), and groups settling in shanty towns (like halabiabad – حلبی آباد) and occupying vacant buildings, and/or informal settlements.  The book is Street Politics: Poor People’s Movements in Iran by Asef Bayat (Columbia University Press, 1997), who interestingly grew up in the informal settlements he writes about.  Read the rest of this entry »





power of incentive

14 11 2008

 

[By Shideh]    My thoughts on the concept of “incentive”…

What do you think would give Tehranians enough incentives to do what’s good for their city? What would give any person enough incentives to care about her surrounding? To cheat less whether in school or in trade, to respect the rules, to drive properly, to keep her/his street clean, to use public transportation, to turn off the lights when not used, to respect order in lines, to build ethically, and finally to come out in the morning with a smile and a loud “good morning, isn’t it a beautiful day” to the neighbors?

 

 

tehran-traffic

Photo courtesy of Hamed

 

Why do I see this attitude in some cities, and the opposite in others? Is there something in our genes that make us care and cheat less? Is it cultural, deeply rooted in our training as we grow up and if so, can we change that? Or is it purely a matter of the circumstance? I hear my economist friends talk about the fact that there is little evidence to prove that it is a matter of culture or genes (I’m sure some would disagree). Some believe that most people cheat when they can, any where they can, with any background. What is it then that makes a city like Berlin or Tokyo so clean and progressive in public awareness and that makes Tehran and many other cities (i.e. New York City, Mexico City, Cairo, Istanbul, downtown Los Angeles,… the list goes on forever…) the way they are?

I would argue that “incentive” is the main factor. Incentive is what makes me evaluate the cost/benefits of my actions and make a decision on whether it’s worth perusing and taking the risks.  This automatic cost/benefit analysis that takes place in my head is not only economic (money related).  Much of it has to do with my fear of social embarrassment, punishment of various degrees, and my own social awareness of the influences of my actions on my own future and that of others,…

Read the rest of this entry »





pakistan hit by quake

29 10 2008

[By Shideh]   Pakistan suffered from a magnitude 6.4 earthquake today: about 500 people were killed and thousands were left homeless. I want to offer my condolences to the people of Pakistan and particularly to those who were affected. It is truly heart-breaking and it’s a shame that we still witness such losses in a century of information technology and knowledge.  

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Daily Nation

 

 

The tremor is reported to have flattened entire villages (click here for more detail).  The earthquake struck southwest Pakistan before dawn as people were preparing for the first prayer of the day. Many evacuated their homes after the first, smaller tremor shook their houses, went outside and waited for awhile but returned back in because of cold weather. It is reported that about 20 minutes later the large earthquake hit, flattening many houses and killing hundreds.

 

The earthquake was located about 60km northeast of the provincial capital Quetta.  Timber and mud with heavy walls are common construction materials in the area. The challenge now is to provide food and shelter to those who survived – in this cold weather. The ability of the government to respond effectively to the people’s urgent needs is questionable. Click here for news.

 

This earthquake affected a few villages in Pakistan, but it is yet another warning to every village and city in the region where active faults are present.  All these cities will face the same fate sooner or later when the next earthquake hits (in Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey, etc.).  Why does it remain to be a challenge to understand the risks that we are facing and to act promptly? Read the rest of this entry »





tehran vs. tokyo

17 10 2008

[By Shideh]   Tehran mayor, Mr. Qalibaf, has been trying to learn from and collaborate with other big cities in the world to improve Tehran in many ways.  I find his attempts promising and in the right direction: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=180227

 

Tehran can learn a great deal from Tokyo in terms of pollution reduction and earthquake safety.  Perhaps Japan is one of the few remaining nations that has not paid much attention to the US attempts to impose international sanctions on Iran – up to debate.  This is a great start for Qalibaf to attract Japanese investment and collaborate with the mayor of Tokyo to improve Tehran’s infrastructure.  However, an important part of the problem in Tehran and Iran in general is not related to technical expertise and lack of knowledge.  The main problem seems to be deeply rooted in social awareness and culture.  It takes a great number of local experts on the social psychology of Tehranians to solve the essential problems that are unique to Tehran and do not apply to Tokyo.  Japan in particular has a culture vastly different from those of Iranians and I hope that their solutions and policies will not be blindly applied to Tehran. Iran has a history of blindly following policies of developed nations to improve its system (i.e. education, infrastructure, architecture, city planning, etc.) and my impression is that these attempts have lead to disastrous results and confusion on our own social/cultural identity.





who is to pay?

11 09 2008

[By Shideh]

Dear Ms. or Mr. Doktor Mohandess God:

I am a middle-aged man in the construction business.  I was born and raised in Tehran but my parents came from Tabriz and Esfahan.  I am also a mohandess (engineer), though I never finished high school.  You know, engineering is an innate thing, it must be in you.  I know how to build, and I didn’t need to waste my time in schools behind desks, you know.  I worked hard to get here, have a lot of experience, do a great job, and make a lot of money.  I have 4 kids, all of whom are becoming real dokktor mohandesses in abroad in private schools.  My wife also has a Mercedes and 3 full time servants.  This is all “halaal” money though, and I pay my share to the poor.  For example, I helped an orphanage near by a few years ago by giving them $1000 for eid e Norouz.  I am not coming to you as a guilty man, but to ask you to help me in court on Tuesday.  You see, it was not my fault that the building in Saadat Aabad collapsed last week.  Only a few people got killed.  These things happen in the construction business, as you know.  I know my job well and this is how I have always built.  I usually pay some money to the city inspectors and they are okay with it.  In this case, the city inspector was also a partner in the deal. If I wanted to build everything according to the design, nothing would get built.  Those damn “engineers” think they know so much, they always add too much steel.  The connections don’t matter, I say this based on experience.  Nothing that I have built has had problems before until now.  Earthquake doesn’t matter either, because Tehran is on rock and with your help we won’t have one in our life time.  This time we were unlucky.  God joon, rooye maa ro zamin nandaz and help me in court on Tuesday.  I don’t want to lose everything.  I have always been your good servant.

————————— 

Dear Mr. God,

I am 40 years old and own an engineering consulting firm in Tehran.  We recently got involved in an easy/money making project that failed. Please make sure that damn “besaaz befroosh” guy pays for his dishonesty.  Our engineers and designers did a fantastic job, nothing was wrong in the design.  In fact, we always over-design because we know it is never followed in construction.  People have been killed now, and it is not our fault. Never mind the fact that our over-designed drawings will cost the contractor too much, the point is that it is not our fault.  It’s their fault for not following our design. 

————————— 

Dear Allah the Merciful,

I am a young engineer, recently graduated and am about to get married.  You know how low our salaries are in this country when we have no experience.  There is no way to live with this salary and breath-taking expenses in Tehran and inflation, there is no way unless you are a thief.  In order to make a living, I got my engineering licence from “Nezam e Mohandessi” and sold my stamp to a few different structural design firms who pay well.  I should not have sold that engineering company my stamp.  What do I do now? The design submitted with my stamp has failed.  I have no idea how they designed that building and now I am responsible for it – people were killed.  

Please help me get out of this mess and I promise to pray every day and fast during every Ramazan in return.   

—————————  

God,

Why did you let this happen? They were innocent, why did they have to be inside this damn place when it collapsed? What kind of a God are you? Who is to pay?

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr

 

Note: these letters are fictional!  

 





hormozgan shaken

10 09 2008

 

[By Shideh]   This morning, I talked to a few relatives in Tehran who had heard of a recent earthquake near by.  Naturally, I jumped to my lap top to check the USGS website looking for a small earthquake in Tehran, the fault rupture characteristics, and other things.  The earthquake that I was looking for had instead been a large one towards the south of the country, the province of Hormozgan immediately north of the Persian Gulf.  

 

The epicenter was approximately 45 km west of Bandar Abbas.  The earthquake was apparently strong enough to be felt in the UAE (the United Arab Emirates, south of the Persian Gulf and the epicenter of this earthquake) forcing many people in tall buildings to get out immediately.  The magnitude of this earthquake is reported to be 6 and two aftershocks of magnitudes 4.4 and 4.7 were recorded.  If you are interested to check recent earthquakes that occur around the world, you will like this website: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/

 

Sadly, at least five people are reported to be killed and 26 injured in Iran due to this earthquake.  The earthquake was intense and unfortunately, my guess is that this number is going to quickly increase as more information becomes available.  Hormozgan is an important province strategically as well as economically and Bandar Abbas is an ancient port located at a critical point, right on the kink connecting the Persian Gulf to the Oman Sea and then to the ocean.   

 

I will update TehranShake as more news becomes available on the estimated damage.  If you live in Iran, please let us know if you felt this earthquake and what you experienced.

 

Bandaries playing footbal in the beach (Bandar Abbas);  photo courtesy of  itfcfan





recent and active tectonics in tehran region and central alborz

18 08 2008

 

[By Shideh]   I received this email from a friend (Mr. Alireza Sarvi) that might be of interest to TehranShake:

 

USGS recently presented an interesting seminar about active tectonics and risk of earthquakes in Tehran region. The slides as well as the complete video are available in their web site now: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/seminars/?year=2008

 

Toward the end of the page, you can access to the seminar with the topic of “Recent and active tectonics in Tehran region and Central Alborz, Iran”, as well its slides and video. It seems that seismic risk in Tehran now gets the attention of well-recognized geological institutes around the world. By the way, from Geophysical point of view, I asked the speaker about the result of micro-seismic activities and the video includes it (from time around 43).





me and my model!

6 08 2008

[By Shideh]   I am sitting inside a round building with a big centrifuge and my model that has become like a friend (sort of like Tom Hanks and the Volleyball named Wilson in the movie Cast Away!)  I am here to run an experiment as a part of a research project.  I have stayed over night monitoring this model (for the past week) and get to rest for a few hours during the days while someone else covers for me.  In the process, this little model has taught me a lot!  It’s interesting how a lifeless thing can teach us important lessons some times.  Or perhaps it’s me being alone at nights having the opportunity to think and reflect…  Who knows?

 

 

My model and I are sitting in this big round building right now in the middle of no where and are thinking about the significance of the word “patience”.  This experiment cannot happen without lots and lots of patience.  It seems it’s an important lesson as we all mature.  When it’s dark and scary outside, my model and I think about what songs can make us feel better and how funny it is that life has brought us here!  We get depressed some times, frustrated at the world for long hours of work and no sleep.  Then we start to smile at each other again and think about how I am being trained to be patient.

My model is sitting here quietly as it is slowly filled with water and as I prepare some of the instrumentation and learn about the electrical system here. I sing to it sometimes and I wonder if anyone can hear me.  The person who cleans this building arrives at 7am and every time he is startled to see me here!

 

While I work at nights over my beloved model that I have created from scratch, I think a lot about everything that I don’t normally have time to think about.  Most recently, I have been thinking about the concept of creativity.  I read a book called “Jame’e Shenasi Nokhbeh Koshi” in Persian many years ago which is about the historical failure of Iranians to encourage reforming minds (like Hasanak Vazir, Amir Kabir, or Mossadeq).  According to this book, not only don’t we encourage creativity and reform, we also kill motivation in anyone who has the slightest desire to improve the system.  Among many other things, this book argues that Iran became a “user” society at some point in history and has been copying the west ever since.  I wondered then if there was much hope for a society with such a fate.  I wonder today…

Read the rest of this entry »





a humble letter to the people in power!

19 07 2008

[By Shideh] My mind has been preoccupied with a number of events lately. I am busy with my last experiment while the world around me seems to have turned upside down. I usually worry a lot about the state of practice in earthquake engineering and am passionate in thinking that I can make a difference in this field, in Iran and perhaps other developing countries. Here I am though, sitting in front of the TV watching CNN in my hotel in Davis, tired of hard work all day, witnessing the world turn upside down once more.  What is going on? Are Israeli authorities really planning to bomb Iran’s nuclear power stations (and other things)? Is Iran’s government really showing fake or real movie clips of its military maneuvers to threaten Israel back, to bluff, to defend itself, or to scare others?  Are American politicians really open to the military option against Iran? Does it seem like a video game to them or do they actually realize it’s people’s lives they are so easily taking?  Am I wasting my life trying to solve a tiny technical problem in earthquake engineering hoping to make cities safe, wishing to save lives, while our governments can blow up the whole world in one second?  Who am I trying to save?

I am helplessly writing to you, my governments, the authorities or decision makers of the world, you who think you can make decisions on my behalf to kill others, I am writing this letter to you hoping to make you realize that I am disappointed in how you have all used my tax money toward propaganda against each other, to promote our differences, and to create hatred.  When are you going to stop fighting and start solving conflicts without actual conflicts? Read the rest of this entry »





earthquake prone tehran | تهران زلزله خیز

13 06 2008

[By Shideh]   Mr. Alireza Sarvi kindly sent us his article on the earthquake risks that Tehran currently faces; to download the complete article, please click on:  earthquake prone tehran

If you have difficulty downloading the entire file, please try downloading one page at a time as: part_1, part_2, part_3, part_4, part_5, part_6

 

It’s a great overview of Tehran’s geological and construction history and the risks involved; an insightful and critical study which you may find helpful.





kurdi house

6 06 2008

[By Shideh]   We arrived in Sanandaj at last and greeted their famous freedom statue that most surprisingly looked exactly like a famous dance form of Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam. We stayed with the family of two most precious human beings who happen to work for Shawhin’s dad.  They had a cozy house on the hills of Sanandaj: small, humble, and darvish style, but had a view of the city.  As excited and fascinated as I was with their steep snaky streets and the gorgeous architecture of their houses, doors, and windows, I couldn’t resist noticing their weak construction methods and lack of safety in the case of an earthquake (which is quite likely). What would happen to these people if an earthquake striked? Images of Bam came to my head and it was hard to push them away as I was getting frustrated with my lack of power to help.

 

Freedom Statue — Photo courtesy of http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/3684/

Read the rest of this entry »





immediately after an earthquake

22 05 2008

[By Shideh]   A friend forwarded this link to me, which has been used at a few elementary schools in the Bay Area (California) — a quiz on how to act immediately after an earthquake. 

I found it extremely useful, as there were many questions that I didn’t answer correctly.  It’s important to note, however, that these are mostly procedures useful for California where most places are built properly for withstanding major earthquakes.  IIEES has published more applicable preparedness packages for Iran and countries with similar methods of construction.  I will explain those methods as soon as I find the details.

This is a fun way to test you knowledge and make sure you are prepared for an earthquake, if you live in California or other earthquake prone areas in first world countries.  Enjoy:





UN hazard mitigation game

25 02 2008

[By Shawhin]  I just found a very neat website developed by the UN/ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction).  They have a series of “Stop Disaster” scenario games that you can play.  The game can be run off the internet on almost any machine.  It’s pretty cool.  It is a bit like the simcity game but geared toward disaster management and natural hazards.  Here’s the link:http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

UN-ISDR game

Currently they have five natural hazard games: tsunami, hurricane, wildfire, earthquake, and flood.   And they are looking for support in creating more scenarios and in different languages.  More info at http://www.unisdr.org/.The website also has a lot of information on education, preparedness, and tips on what to do to mitigate damaging effects of natural hazards.  I haven’t been through the whole site, but it looks like a good resource, particularly for younger folks and kids.





tehran historic earthquakes

31 01 2008

[By Shideh]   I read an interesting article by H. Hamzehloo, F. Vaccari, and G.F. Panza, “ Towards a reliable seismic microzonation in Tehran, Iran,” a few parts of which I am including below:

“Tehran, the capital of Iran, is located in a very high seismic zone at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, which is part of the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt. The distribution of historical earthquakes around Tehran shows that the region has been experiencing eight large destructive earthquakes with magnitude greater than 7 from 4th B.C to 1830 (Ambraseys and Melville, 1982). These large historical earthquakes caused severe damage to Shahre Ray City, which is a part of Tehran city at present. The last large historical event was the 1830 earthquake with magnitude 7.1, which occurred approximately 100 km from the city. The closest historical event to the city was the 855 earthquake with magnitude 7.1.

tehran-seismicity.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »





children and earthquake safety

17 01 2008

[By Shideh]  I came across an interesting presentation by IIEES’ (International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology) public education department in regards to earthquake safety and particularly children’s safety programs currently being developed in Iran:

http://www.iiees.ac.ir/English/Publicedu/school_safety_iran_case_study_davos.pdf 

 A few highlights: About 131,935 classrooms need to be reconstructed; 126,010 classrooms need to be strengthened; 39% of schools need to become safe… 

eq-safety-and-kindergarten.jpg Read the rest of this entry »





iran’s international conference on integrated natural disaster management – this february

13 01 2008

Today, we received a message from one of the chairs of the 3rd International Conference on Integrated Natural Disaster Management scheduled in Iran for this February (2008).  The main themes for the conference are: earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, and hurricanes.  UNICEF, the City of Tehran, IAEM, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Shahid Beheshti University, York University, and Cranfield University are some of the sponsors of this conference. 

The deadline for submitting abstracts and papers is passed but you can still register and attend the conference.  If you have a paper that you’d like to submit, I personally suggest you send it even though the deadline’s past.  For more information: www.indm.org.  The image below is from their flash intro:

  3rd-int-conf-copy.jpg 

Read the rest of this entry »





viva tehran

18 10 2007

[By Shideh]  We are back in Berkeley and are in the process of organizing our photos/videos from Iran.  We’ll post short summaries with observations from our trip over the next few weeks (as it’s going to be long… and there were plenty of interesting topics for discussion that came up).  First, today, a few short thoughts and impressions from Tehran:

daaneshkadeh fani tasvieh khoon tehran metro station at iiees

Read the rest of this entry »





khaanoom mohandes

7 09 2007

[By Shideh] 

Today I attended a meeting at PEER (Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research) head quarters, here in Berkeley, with a team of visiting engineers from Pakistan.  They were mostly interested to learn about the progress in earthquake engineering practice and research in the U.S. and the performance and success of research supported by government organizations.  During the meeting, from what I heard, I thought Pakistan and Iran have a lot in common (culturally and socially) and creating joint programs between the two countries can be effective in their progress. 

Another topic of interest in this meeting was how to increase women participation in engineering, in Pakistan.  Read the rest of this entry »





interested in earthquake engineering?

7 09 2007

[By Shideh] For those interested in Earthquake Engineering: GEER (standing for GeoEngineering Earthquake Reconnaissance), a U.S. based organization aimed to document geotechnical engineering effects of important earthquakes and to advance research and practice in this field, has a great website with a collection of stunning photographs and detailed reconnaissance reports of the damage observed after major earthquakes around the world.  

http://gees.usc.edu/GEER/recent_geotechnical_engineering.htm 

geer-1.jpg





what to do before, during, and after an earthquake

28 08 2007

[By Shawhin]   Some important discussion has come up regarding this issue and particularly the post below from August 2nd, 2007.

Per the debate – the “drop, cover, and hold” method may not be advisable for residents of Tehran (and Iran) and other places where beuilding collapse is quite likely.  “Drop, cover, and hold” is based on US damage models where structures typicaly do not collapse and most injury is from falling or flying object. 

Please see comments to the August, 2nd post for more info!





peru shaken by earthquake

16 08 2007

[By Shideh]  A magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit southern Peru, killing hundreds of people in the country’s second city, Areuipa, and possibly in the small villages near the coast (not confirmed yet).  The heaviest damage seems to have occurred in Arequipa, Peru’s “white city”, known for its beautiful architecture and churches.  It seems everyone fled their homes in panic and fear.  There are now thousands of people homeless in southern Peru. 

  peru_quake1.jpg   nm_peru_quake1.jpg   peru_quake21.jpg

(pictures borrowed from ABC News and BBC) 

A relatively trusted source to help the victims: http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html 

I should add, though, that after the Bam earthquake many people were concerned that the Red Cross had a lot of over-head cost and they worried that a great portion of their donations would not go directly to the earthquake victims.  Any opinions on this? Does anyone know of other good organizations to donate to? 

It’s important to remember that phones do not work in such situations as the number of calls increases dramatically and many areas lose power and communication.  Text messaging may be a more effective communication tool in such cases.  Also, please see the post on “Hooman’s thoughts on emergency management and amateur radio” below.  This is increasingly becoming a hot topic.       





what to do during, before, and after an earthquake

2 08 2007

[By Shideh]  In response to a number of requests, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips with all the Tehranis and people living in other earthquake prone areas on how to protect themselves during, before, and after an earthquake (if you don’t know them already). IMPORTANT: PLEASE SEE THE STRING OF COMMENTS BELOW FOR IMPORTANT DEBATE ON THIS.

Here’s a good link which summarizes all the steps that you all need to know, so try to read through it carefully: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/index.shtm

  table-a.gif  table-b.jpg  table-c.jpg

(sketches borrowed from http://seagrant.uaf.edu/features/earthquake/prepare2.html)   Read the rest of this entry »





earthquake safety and media

23 07 2007

[By Shideh]  Interesting information on BBCPersian:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/story/2007/07/070723_ka-tehran-earthquake1.shtml

“در صورتی که زلزله تهران به خاطر فعال شدن گسل ری باشد، ۴۸۰ هزار ساختمان در تهران فرو خواهد ریخت، یعنی ۵۵ درصد ساختمان‏های شهر. بیشترین تعداد ساختمان‏های آسیب دیده در منطقه ۱۵ خواهد بود.” 

“In the case of an earthquake on the Ray Fault, 480,000 buildings will collapse in Tehran: 55% of all the buildings in Tehran.” 

In particular, I am glad that discussions af Tehran’s susceptibility to seismic hazard have increasingly become more of a concern to the public and to the media.  As misleading as most popular news sources can be in terms of the accuracy of their scientific claims, they can have a strong influence on public awareness and education. Also, this can be especially useful when finding ways to have our ideas heard by policy makers in Iran.  Media can not only have a great role in educating the public (or misleading them in many matters), it can be used to put policy makers under pressure for effective action. I think continuous articles and interviews on popular columns of famous news papers and magazines can have a profound impact, which we can have in mind as a possible way for implementing infrastructure related solutions later on.  This may seem obvious, but we can start planning for it at some point.








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