Some 10,000 people may be dead in the wake of 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Bam in southeast Iran on Friday, Iran government officials reported.
The quake struck Bam – in southeast Iran some 600 miles southeast of the capital Tehran – at 5:30 a.m., raising fears that many were crushed when their homes collapsed.
Bam is home to 80,000 people, and preliminary damage assessments showed 60 percent of the city's houses were destroyed. Most buildings in Iran are not built to withstand earthquakes. Many water, power and phone lines were destroyed as well.
Access to the city is difficult as worried residents flocked to the city to search for their loved ones, causing huge traffic jams. People were also streaming out of Bam into the city of Kerman, some 120 miles away, where aid resources were overwhelmed.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake as a 6.7 magnitude.
In 1990, an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 to 7.7 killed 50,000 people in Iraq.
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