Iran Red Crescent volunteers run towards a helicopter

© Ibrahim Malla / IFRC

Last Saturday (11 August 2012), two earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.4 and 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked north-western Iran. At least 180 villages around Ahar, Varzaghan and Heris in East Azerbaijan province have been affected, 21 of which were completely flattened. More than 300 people were killed, and over 3,000 people were injured.

The Iran Red Crescent deployed 92 teams to help with rescue and relief operations. A staggering 1,080 staff and volunteers – backed up by six helicopters, 97 ambulances, 53 relief vehicles, 20 life detector sets and 19 search and rescue dogs – sprang into action.

So far, the Iran Red Crescent has provided 48,370 people with shelter, providing relief tents to over 9,600 of the most vulnerable people. It has also sent:

  • almost 34,200 cans of food
  • over 1,640 kerosene stoves
  • 100 jerry cans
  • more than 1,340 kitchen sets
  • and over 11,940 blankets.

Iran straddles a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left more than 25,000 people dead.

The Iran Red Crescent is very well prepared to respond to such emergencies. The National Society in neighbouring Turkey is on standby, and other National Societies around the world have offered to help if needed. The Iran Red Crescent has not requested support from other National Societies.

We are not currently requesting funds for the Iran earthquake. However, if you’d like to help us save lives next time disaster strikes, you can donate to our Disaster Fund.