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Earthquake Hazards Program

Magnitude 7.3 Northern Iran
1997 May 10 07:57:29 UTC

Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

World Location

Regional Location

Magnitude 7.3
Date-Time 1997 05 10 07:57:29 UTC
Location 33.82N 59.80E
Depth 10 kilometers
Region Northern Iran
Reference 115 km (70 miles) NNE of Birjand, Iran
230 km (140 miles) WSW of Herat, Afghanistan
270 km (170 miles) S of Mashhad, Iran
795 km (490 miles) ESE of TEHRAN, Iran
Location Quality Error estimate not available
Location Quality
Not available
Comments At least 1,567 people killed, 2,300 injured, 50,000 homeless, 10,533 houses destroyed, 5,474 houses damaged and landslides in the Birjand-Qayen area. Five people killed and some damage in the Herat area, Afghanistan. Felt in Kerman, Khorasan, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan and Yazd Provinces, Iran. This earthquake appears to have occurred on a southern splay of the Ferdows fault. The left-lateral, strike-slip Ferdows fault was the site of the 1968 Dasht-e-Bayaz earthquake (magnitude 7.3) which resulted in 12,000-20,000 casualties. The Ferdows fault is north of the Zagros Mountains (the latter being the northern boundary of the Arabian plate). Understanding the tectonics of the Ferdows region is complicated by indistinct boundaries of the several microplates at that collision zone.

NB: The region name is an automatically generated name from the Flinn-Engdahl (F-E) seismic and geographical regionalization scheme. The boundaries of these regions are defined at one-degree intervals and therefore differ from irregular political boundaries. More->


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