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:



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.


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.

power of god

31 01 2008

[By Shideh]  

I am auditing an awesome course on “human behavior and organizational factors, …” with Professor Bea, here in Berkeley’s civil engineering department.  He’s an amazing lecturer, one of those professors that you just can’t forget. 

Here’s one of his quotes that I’d like to share with you:

“You have the power of God in your hands, as engineers.  You can save lives and of course can easily take lives when your design fails.  Based on 50 years of experience as an engineer having witnessed many failures, I tell you now that almost 80% of all engineering breakdowns happen because engineers are not well trained in dealing with people and fail in effective communication and management.”

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:


 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 »

snowy tehran

9 01 2008

[By Shideh]  On Sunday, Tehran woke up to a heavy overnight snowfall which ended up shutting primary and secondary schools, blocking major roads, and canceling all domestic flights.  All government offices closed on Monday and Tuesday, according to IRNA news agency.  All roads in the northwest of the country were closed to traffic, meanwhile the international flights (which now run exclusively from Imam Khomenin International Airport) were delayed.  Tehran lies at an altitude of more than 1,000 meters above sea level and is regularly hit by heavy falls of snow in winter (even though there have been some winters without major storms).  State television has also reported that the snowfalls will continue in the coming days, while the cold weather has already created problems in the country with around a dozen towns suffering gas cuts last week (due to a surge in demand and cuts in exports from Turkmenistan)… 


Image borrowed from: www.tehrandaily.wordpress.com

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.  



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!