Conference Paper

Social and public policy issues following the 2003 Bam, Iran, earthquake

Kathleen Tierney, Bijan Khazai, L. Thomas Tobin, and Frederick Krimgold

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute


The Bam, Iran, earthquake on 26 December 2003 took the lives of 26,271 people and left more than 20,000 injured. About 85% of the houses, commercial units, health and educational facilities, and administrative buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed, affecting 92,000 people in the city and 48,000 people in the surrounding villages, and leaving 75,000 homeless. A reconnaissance trip to Iran and the earthquake-stricken area was carried out from 8–16 May 2004, and focused on societal impacts five months after the Bam event, early recovery activities, long-term recovery planning, and public policy aspects of earthquake loss reduction in Iran. At the time of the reconnaissance team’s trip, the major challenges facing the reconstruction process were public participation, public education and hazard communication, and inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional transition and coordination issues.

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