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!


getting to know tehran

25 08 2007

[By Shideh]  As one of many Tehran lovers, I found it fascinating to go through a few old pictures of this city, each showing her rich history and significant role in Iran’s socio-political movements.  Shahram Razavi has a wonderful collection of old Tehran pictures at http://www.worldisround.com/articles/255726/index.html  

I’m including a few of his photographs below.  But make sure to visit his site as he has gathered an extensive collection of amazing photographs.  

On a different level, Ja’far Shahri — a Tehrani writer (1914-1994) — wrote an extremely creative and fascinating chronicle of Tehran’s twentieth-century social history.  He wrote about twenty books most of which about Tehran.  Abbas Milani has dedicated a chapter of his book “Lost Wisdom – Rethinking Modernity in Iran” to Ja’far Shahri’s personal odyssey which you may find helpful in better understanding Tehran — “a city with a long history and a short memory.”

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conference on zagros traditional settlement in sanandaj

17 08 2007

[By Shawhin]

با اینکه این لینک مربوط به تهران نیست کنفرانس بین المللی سکونتگاه های زاگرس مطالب جالبی را در مورد سازه های تاریخی (معماری محلی و نگهداری از سازه های تاریخی)  ارائه خواهد کرد.

While not Tehran-specific, this conference deals with concepts in architecture/planning that can be considered relevant (i.e. vernacular architecture, historic structure preservation, etc):



It looks like an amazing event.



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. 

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(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.       

minnesota bridge collapse and lessons for tehranis

3 08 2007

[By Shideh]  As you might have heard by now, one of the key road bridges over the Mississippi river in the US collapsed during the evening rush hour on Wednesday.  At lease seven people were killed and 60 injured according to most news sources.  About 50 vehicles went into the water as the structure collapsed. Tons of concrete crashed into water in addition to a freight train passing underneath that was crushed under the collapsing bridge.

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(pictures courtesy of BBC) 

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

notes from day 2 of the sustainability and public transportation conference

2 08 2007

[By Shawhin]  The second day of the conference was even more interesting than the first for me.  There was a large focus on city planning, land use, and policy.  I’m continuing the same format as the previous post here and getting straight into details by presentation.  And again, if you want more details on anything, just let me know and I can elaborate. Read the rest of this entry »