Iran (Reuters) – A pre-dawn earthquake razed much of the ancient Silk
Road city of Bam in Iran on Friday, killing more than 20,000 people and
injuring tens of thousands more, government officials said.
About 70 per cent of the buildings in the historic city, a popular tourist
spot some 1,000 km (600 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran, had collapsed
and many residents were trapped under the rubble, state television said.
"Rescue workers have found more bodies. The figure is now more than
senior government official said. The quake at about 5:30 a.m. (9 p.m. EST
Thursday) measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.
Other officials said around 50,000 people were injured in and around
the city, which, with its environs, had a population of some 200,000
Bam was without water, electricity or gas as night fell and temperatures
headed below freezing. Residents set fires to stay warm and made torches
from palm branches for light as they dug with bare hands for survivors.