Earthquake History in Iran


Iran is one of the most seismically active and disaster prone countries in the world. Major natural disasters include frequent serious earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, desertification, deforestation and storms, but the most likely one of them is earthquakes that have killed more than 180' 000 people during the last 90 years. Many cities of Iran such as Tehran, Tabriz, Rudbar, Manjil, Tabas, Lar, Qazvin, Zanjan, Hamedan, Kermanshah, and Fars have been affected by earthquake activities. The most recent major earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck the historic city of Bam in the province of Kerman killing more than 30'000 people, leaving more than 10'000 people injured and more than 100'000 homeless.

Some details of severe earthquakes which happened in Iran during 20th and 21st centuries have been described in the table 1. As shown in the table, there is at least one major earthquake in every decade including Bam earthquake, Manjil earthquake, Tabas earthquake and Boein Zahra earthquake. Also Iran has experienced an earthquake with the magnitude greater than 6.5 in each

2.5- year period. Accordingly, the possibility of hitting an earthquake with the magnitude greater than 6.5 is about 99.9% in a decade and as it can cause devastating impacts and economic losses, considering the earthquake risk has been highlighted in the academic community and the public.


Table 1: Earthquakes Details on 21st and 20th Century in Iran

Apr. 16, 2013Saravan, Iran7.7352013 Saravan earthquake
Aug. 11, 2012Tabriz6.4 3062012 East Azerbaijan earthquakes
Dec. 20, 2010Hosseinabad6.7112010 Hosseinabad earthquake
Sep. 10, 2008Qeshm6.1-2008 Bandar Abbas earthquake
Mar. 31, 2006Borujerd6.1702006 Borujerd earthquake
Feb. 22, 2005Zarand6.4At least 6022005 Zarand earthquake
May 28, 2004Māzandarān6.3At least 352004 Māzandarān earthquake
Dec. 26, 2003Bam6.6At least 30,0002003 Bam earthquake
Jun. 22, 2002Qazvin6.52622002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake
May 10, 1997Birjand-Qaen7.31'5671997 Qayen earthquake
Feb. 28, 1997Ardabil6.11'1001997 Ardabil earthquake
Jun. 20, 1990ManjilRudbar7.440'000-50'0001990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake
Jul. 28, 1981Eastern Iran7.11'500July 1981 southern Iran earthquake
Jun. 11, 1981Southern Iran6.93'000June 1981 southern Iran earthquake
Sep.16, 1978Tabas7.815'0001978 Tabas earthquake
Apr. 10, 1972Gir7.15'0541972 Gir earthquake
Aug. 31, 1968Dasht-e-Bayaz-Ferdows7.312'0001968 Dasht-e Bayaz and Ferdows earthquake
Sep. 01, 1962Bou'in-Zahra7.112'2251962 Buin Zahra earthquake
Dec.13, 1957Sahneh7.11'1301957 Sahneh earthquake
Jul. 02,1957Māzandarān6.61'2001957 Māzandarān earthquake
Feb.12, 1953Torud6.69701953 Torud earthquake
Sep. 23, 1947Pasni7.35001947 Pasni earthquake
May 6,1930Salmas7.22'500-4'0001930 Salmas earthquake
May 01,1929Koppeh Dagh7.23'8001929 Kopet Dag earthquake
May 25, 1923Torbat-e Heydariyeh5.72'2001923 Torbat-e Heydariyeh earthquake
Jan. 23, 1909Silakhor of Borujerd7.36'0001909 Borujerd earthquake