Sunday, August 12, 2012


RAISED TO AT LEAST 250 - Twin earthquakes in Iran have killed at least 250 people and injured over 2,000, Iranian state television said on Sunday, after thousands spent the night outdoors after their villages were leveled and homes damaged in the country's northwest. Images broadcast on the main news channel showed dozens of families sleeping on blankets laid out on the ground in parks. Some were crying, others shivering from chilly weather in the mountainous region hit by the quake, near neighboring Azerbaijan. 
Over a thousand rescuers worked through the night to free people trapped under rubble and to reach some of the more remote villages affected. Television also showed people being evacuated on stretchers, while others underwent treatment for broken limbs and concussions on hospital beds. By early afternoon on Sunday, state television was reporting that search operations had ceased. Hundreds of tents had been set up to house the homeless, it added. The epicenter was a region between the towns of Ahar and Haris, about 200 miles (500 kilometers) northwest of the capital Tehran.

It was reported that Saturday's first quake at 4:53 p.m. (1223 GMT) had a magnitude of 6.4 and struck 37 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 kilometers (6.2 miles). The second quake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck 11 minutes later, the U.S.G.S. reported. Its epicenter was 29 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Tabriz at a depth of 6.1 miles (9.8 kilometers). The quakes hit the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province, Iranian television reported. At least six villages were totally leveled, and 133 others sustained damage ranging from 50 to 80 percent, it said. 
Some 36 aftershocks jolted the same area and were felt in a wide region near the Caspian Sea, causing panic among the population. Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one earthquake every day on average, although the vast majority are so small they go unnoticed. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.

Two strong earthquakes hit northwestern Iran, killing at least 250 people and injuring 2,600 others. The 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale quakes struck minutes apart late Saturday afternoon, leveling several villages near the city of Tabriz and seriously damaging several others. Dozens of aftershocks have rumbled through the area, prompting thousands of people to spend the night outdoors. The last major earthquake in Iran was a magnitude 6.6 quake in 2003 in the southeastern city of Bam, where 30,000 people died. One of the three types of miseries we have to endure in this material world are the ones caused by higher natural powers (adhidaivika-klesha): e.g. Extreme heat or cold, floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis.

Natural calamities are a display of an awesome power immensely and fearfully greater than the human. They jolt us out of our complacent routines and force us to think about the supernatural: Why do such natural disasters occur? ... Over the last century natural calamities have been increasing in both their frequency and ferocity. According to the International Society for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), there were three times as many great natural disasters in the 1990s as in the 1960s, while disaster costs increased more than nine-fold in the same period. The deaths from natural disasters have increased from 53,000 in 1990 to 83,000 in 2003. ... And if we wish to truly help our fellow citizens on this planet, humanitarian aid will not be enough. We have to offer spiritual aid by giving the enlightenment and empowerment that comes from God consciousness.

Caitanya Caran das (BE E&TC) :
“When Nature Boomerangs”
“The Spiritual Scientist” - Vol. 3 Issue 1.
Bhaktivedanta Academy for Culture and Education (BACE), Pune

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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