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Friday, November 29, 2013

Earthquake Near Iran's Nuclear Power Plant

Nadene Goldfoot                                                    Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant          

A 5.7 earthquake hit near Borazjan, 35 miles from the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.  It destroyed 250 homes and businesses and electricity pylons.  7 people died and 30 were injured who were in the hospital.

Iran was hit with a 7.8 earthquake in April in SE Iran and Pakistan in which 40 people died.

Before that on December 26,  2003, a massive quake of 6.6  had struck Bam,  a southern city in Iran which killed 26,271 people and injured 30,000.  It's ancient mud-built citadel was destroyed.  This is the medium used for many of their buildings and homes, mud bricks.  44 countries sent in people to help.  60 countries in total offered assistance.  Being it struck when people were sleeping at 1:56am did not help matters.

Earthquakes are very common in Iran.  It must be similar to be living in Anchorage, Alaska.  "This earthquake occurred as a result of stresses generated by the Arabian plate moving northward against the Eurasian plate at approximately 3 centimetres (1 in) per year."  People were affected psychologically years afterwards from this one as the people were in Alaska on March 27, 1964 which was a huge one.  Relations between Iran and the USA improved after this earthquake.  Before this, Bush had called Iran one of the axis of evil.  "Iran then  promised to comply with an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency which supports better monitoring of its nuclear interests. This led U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to suggest direct talks in the future. Sanctions were temporarily relieved to help the rescue effort.  

Of course earthquakes cause concern to the Arabs across the Gulf as to the reliability of the Bushehr plant and radioactive leaks it could have in case of another major quake.  Since 2002 there have been 13 major earthquakes that have hit Iran.
2002   6.5  262 killed
2003  6.6   26,000, (Bam)
2004  6.3    35 killed
2005  6.4  602 killed
2005  6.0     13 killed
2006  6.1     70 killed
2008  6.1      7 killed
2010  5.9    19 killed
2011 5.3       2 killed
2012 6.4   306 killed
2013 6.3     30 killed, April 9th
2013 7.8      40 reported killed, April 16th  SE Iran and Pakistan
2013 5.7       8 killed, 190 injured

To calm everyone's fears, Iran and Russia say that it is built by international standards under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog.  They had gone ahead and built it even though Iran stands on several seismic fault lines.


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