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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 16:14 GMT
Iran earthquake: Your experiences
Woman grieves over the body of her daughter
Officials in Iran have started looking at how they can start to re-build the earthquake-hit city of Bam.

Up to 50,000 people are thought to have died in ancient mud-brick city, and only 20% of buildings are in any way repairable.

Some of the international sanctions on Iran have been eased by President Bush but he stressed it was not a change in policy.

Both Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mohammed Khatami have visited the city to reassure its inhabitants.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

It was so sad to hear that so many lives were lost at such a momentary lapse of time. The people of Bam did not deserve what happened to them in their sleep. May their lives, hospitality, generosity and legacy be remembered by us all. You will not be forgotten. The city of Bam will be rebuilt and Iran will once more be proud of one of its many wonders of the world. Much gratitude to the nations, countries, people and individuals making the aid, humanitarian relief and the reconstruction efforts worthwhile. Iran will never forget you...
Babak, Gillingham, UK

Sad as it is, do not be too surprised for it is written in the word of God that such calamities, earthquakes, plane crashes, wars, strange diseases, floods, etc will characterise the last days. Take heed, we're in those days. Easier said than done, my sincere prayer is for the survivors in Iraq and the rest of the world to see and seek God in these days of more manifestations to follow.
Mutumboi Mundia, Nottingham, UK

A disaster like this shows the ridiculousness of pettiness
Tony, Leeds, England
Let's just forget hating each other for our differences, and start helping each other, for the things we have in common, as we should do anyway. A disaster like this shows the ridiculousness of pettiness.. and how we should all help each other..
Tony, Leeds, England

Although my family and I have not been directly affected by this disaster, I would still like to take the opportunity to thank everybody at the BBC for your continuous and detailed daily coverage of the Bam earthquake. You have proven that you care and your efforts are in the public interest. No other non Iranian broadcaster has given such a detailed coverage of this earthquake...And the most important fact is that when the BBC broadcasts decision makers around the world listen and take action! Thanks again and God bless you all!
Ali Reza Kashani, Tehran, Iran

I flew from London to San Francisco on New Year's Day. The lady seated next to me, a Persian/German doctor/trauma specialist now residing near SF, had just arrived from Bam and was on her way home. She had gone to Bam at her own expense to help the victims. Her name is Sebula. She told me, firsthand, what it was like there. She is an angel from heaven.
Nick McGeachin, San Francisco, CA, USA

I'm in deep grief for those who lost their lives and their families in this tragedy. I'm most grateful to those who came to Bam at their Christmas time to help people; I can't describe such degree of humanity by words. Authorities in Iran should not forget this tragedy like tragedy of earthquake in Roodbar and they should do more to prevent such massive loss of lives.
Ebrahim Vakilpour, Tehran, Iran

As an Iranian, on behalf of my nation especially those kind-hearted souls of Bam's whom are not around anymore, I would like to convey my appreciation to all individuals around the globe for their immediate support and sympathy! The whole world is playing and pitching like a solid team. It is unbelievable to see how every nation including the most needy one like Afghanistan offers olive branch; you are all beautiful! With love.
Behrouz Rafie, Lurestan, Khorramabad

The tragedy is too great and the devastation is too overwhelming to comprehend. Sitting here safe on the other side of the world, could we ever sense what thousands of homeless Iranians are feeling. I can only shed tears for their misfortune, no amount of money and aid can console a father that has lost his children, a boy that has lost his entire family and a mother that has nothing left to live for. I pray to God, to give them strength to deal with this disaster. Even the thought of being in their place for a second is unbearable. From deep in my hurt I want to thank all the nations that helped our country men, God bless your soul.
Babak Shahbazi, West Vancouver, Canada

I feel very bad about it. And am really sorry for the victims. I extend my sympathy to them. Peter.
Chukwugolu p., Warri, Delta- State, Nigeria

I'm so sorry for the people of Bam and Iran. Within these pictures of great suffering, I see the beautiful soul of your people shining through. Nothing can take that away. I wish you peace during this time of loss.
Janice Forsyth, Boston, Massachusetts. USA

Bam was the most amazing place I've ever seen
Shadi Kazeme, Perth, Australia
I am a 14 year old Iranian girl. Everyone in my family except myself was born in Iran (I was born in Australia). When I travelled to Iran in '99, Bam was the most amazing place I've ever seen and its people were so incredibly hospitable to me and my family. I have sent all my pocket money to the Red Cross so that they can help the survivors. I pray that God will bless the survivors and the dead.
Shadi Kazeme, Perth, Australia

I would like to offer condolences to the people of Bam and the surrounding areas. An individual from San Francisco I know the reality of quakes in urban areas and the grief of the aftermath. I hope that countries can put aside their differences to help the citizens that are the foundation of their countries.
Matt, San Francisco, USA

I would just like to say a big thank you for all international support to my fellow Iranian people. God bless you all.
Ali Nowroozi, Manchester, UK

I was really shocked when I heard the bad news of that devastating earthquake. I hope that world governments will put aside differences and conflict and focus on the common traits between all men regardless of race, religion, ideology or language. This is the time when the humanitarian side of our good nature must prevail over all other sides.
Harby F. Nazir, Alexandria, Egypt

I have spent many of my days in Bam as a youth. The beauty of the citadel brought tears to my eyes. It was a reminder of the glory of Ancient Persia and the kings of old, and it breaks my heart to see it in ruins. How can the government have the nerve to refuse help from an "enemy"? Why do they play politics with people's lives? Why is it that a 6.5 earthquake takes only two lives in America while a 6.3 on the Richter scale kills 20,000? My heart goes out to all the families robbed of loved ones. Please pray for the dead in Arg-e-Bam.
Darius Bayat, Sydney, Australia

I wish I could afford to run throughout the world and kiss the hearts of all those who shared our grief, sent numerous relieving aids, and deeply sympathized with our quake-stricken people in Bam. This again makes the fact ring in my mind that, despite wars and enmities, cultural and political differences among nations, we're ultimately one global family and the children of the same Father, and the voice of humanity sings ever more loudly and sweetly in our hearts.
A Parsi, Shiraz, Iran

When I heard the news of the earthquake it took me an hour to contact my family in that city and ask how they are.
Sepideh - Baft Kerman

When I heard the news of the earthquake it took me an hour to contact my family in that city and ask how they are. Then I realized the depth of the disaster. I pray to God to help us do whatever we can to help the survivors. How long are the authorities going to play with the innocent people's lives? Wasn't it four years ago when an earthquake happened in Golbaft and experts said the Kerman region is prone to natural disasters? I hope we won't remain in our negligence until Tehran is destructed as well.
Sepideh - Baft Kerman

I was talking to one of my Bami friends. He said he has lost 80 relatives! He said when he was looking through the windows of his devastated house there was only a bed left from all the houses in the road where they lived. The fact that we are still alive is like a miracle. The rescuers have lost hope. The weather is bitterly cold.
Masoud - Kerman

My name is Sina and I am 17. I am in Tehran with my family. We have just heard that my aunt with her husband have remained under the rubbles. We are going to get back to help.
Sina - Tehran

I'm Iranian, and when I see the town and the dead people scattered, I get really shocked.
Arya razi, Derby, England

I'm Iranian, and when I see the town and the dead people scattered, I get really shocked. My parents pray to God, why this had to happen. I consider myself lucky. Please try to help by sending some money to companies, which spend the money for the good of the earthquake.
Arya razi, Derby, England

I would like to convey my condolences to the Iranian people who have lost their loved ones during the devastating earthquake; I also would like to extend my feeling of support for those who have survived this terrible disaster. As the people of my country have been through the same devastating experience in 1999, I feel I can understand the pain and suffering it has caused.
Ayse, Istanbul, Turkey

I am shocked with the pictures from TV. Though I am far away from Iran, my heart is also with you, Iranian friends. Be brave. There are many people all over the world, who wish you can recover from this tragedy soon.
Wu Hengan, Singapore

I made friends in Bam who I would rank among my closest throughout the world.
Hana Loftus, London England

I visited Bam exactly a year ago. I made friends in Bam who I would rank among my closest throughout the world. Needless to say I have not been able to contact them. The devastation of their lives, which I was so lucky to be a part of for a short while, and which were so utterly kind, hospitable, generous and cultured, shocks me.
Hana Loftus, London England

It is an awful disaster. My heart goes out to my people in Bam and Iran. Incidents such as this make me view my own life and environs in perspective and I wish I could more personally help. My prayers and deepest sympathy goes to the residents of Bam and to all the people from Iran.
Shiva Nafezi, Stockholm Sweden

Our scientists should devote more time for research to get early warning on hurricanes etc. I welcome Governments funding more missions to Mars, but priority should be given to the safety of human lives which already exists on earth.
Syed Hanif Ahmed, Kuwait

I travelled around Iran in the summer of 2001 and was overwhelmed by the friendliness and hospitality of all the Iranians I met.
Anna Paterson, London, UK
I travelled around Iran as a tourist in the summer of 2001 and was overwhelmed by the friendliness and hospitality of all the Iranians I met. Like many others, I am deeply concerned for the safety of the wonderful Mr Akbar, proprietor of Akbar's guesthouse, and his family. I would welcome any news, and my thoughts go out to Bam at this terrible time.
Anna Paterson, London, UK

For those writing in and asking about the Akbar Guesthouse. The house is ruined but the owner is alive. However, his son died in the quake.
Ellie, Washington D.C., USA

My sympathies and condolences go to all the victims of the earthquake. I too have lived two major earthquakes in Greece, a 6.3 in 1981 in Corinth Greece and a 5.9 in 1999 in Athens Greece. I have been lucky to have survived both without injuries, especially the one in 1981. Every little shake, every tremor from a car passing by still makes my heart start beating faster from fear.
Chris Spilios, Athens Greece

I'm an 18-year-old Iranian girl. I keep thinking what it would be like if the same thing happened to any of us. These people lost their whole life on the spur of the moment. Think of those who were newly-weds, the little boys and girls who had planned to make the most of their weekend, the ones who had come home to visit relatives and ... who had no idea what destiny would bring up.. It's unimaginable. This gives us all an important piece of advice - to always try to do the best for our family and friends, tell them how much they mean to us and how much we care... My heart, thoughts and prayers go to all those innocent victims of this tragic misery. May God bless them all...
Shahrzad Nasseri Nick, Tehran, Iran

These people had so little in their lives anyway. And now this. I have cried so many tears of sadness throughout my life for the suffering of the Iranian people, and I am still crying. For these are my countrymen, these are my friends, and these people don't deserve to suffer any more than they already have done.

Please may I urge you to help in any way possible, please answer the emergency appeal of the International Red Cross/Crescent.

And please do not forget these people when the cameras and media have moved away onto a new story, for these people will no doubt still be suffering, in silence, crying for help.

Shame on the mullahs of Iran for not asking for help sooner, and shame on the Iranian Government for not taking care of these people better, by providing them with safer housing.
Hoda Hosseini, London, UK

I am deeply saddened over this tragedy. My opinion is that everything happens for a reason, it is a message to the administrators to rapidly modernise their cities, villages and bring them to today's standard. If the city was modernised the dead could be 100 or less. Now this is a sad start of an experience not only for Iran but for all countries, to bring their cities to todays standard.
Kaviani, Vancouver, Canada

It is truly outrageous that the Iranian Government is placing politics over the welfare of the earthquake victims by rejecting an Israeli NGO's appeal for help - and I say that as an Iranian. The government shamelessly denied the citizens of Bam the much-needed expertise and manpower for political considerations about a conflict several thousand miles away.
Mehraz, Chicago, IL, USA

My family lived in Bam for three years. We come from the north of Iran, Gilan province. After hearing about the earthquake, I moved from Kerman city to Bam quickly. When I arrived, I faced a very, very sad story: all of the buildings were destroyed and most of the streets were full of sand and dust. After seeing these scenes, I feared for my family and tried to see them rapidly. But my family was safe and healthy. I thank God.
Mustafa, Kerman, Bam

It's the first time there has been such a pervasively positive reaction seeping throughout the entire nation
Joobin Zarvan, Tehran

It's not the first time Iran has been hit by such a powerful tremor. Ironically though, it's the first time there has been such a pervasively positive reaction seeping throughout the entire nation, as if a seismic aftershock jolting peoples┐ hearts instead of homes. The Iranian people have truly set a new standard in demonstrating their generosity, sympathy and solidarity with each other once again, in a massive public turnout for relief aid. I'm definitely impressed and depressed at once. A mixed feeling of sadness and joy.
Joobin Zarvan, Tehran - Iran

This disaster is the worst of any kind I have ever heard of. My heart goes out to the thousands who have lost their lives, and the many more who are suffering under the tragic conditions. Our prayers remain with them, in the hopes that their souls find everlasting happiness after the horrific calamity.
Mohammed Nazir Khaki, New York, NY

Please help us! Many people of my country have died and more are injured. It's a big disaster, a really big disaster. The weather is too much cold and they don't have anything, any warm cloth, any food, and even any water. Please help us! Bam city is collapsed completely! This is a really terrible situation.
Zahra, Tehran - Iran

Silence and relaxation at dawn but suddenly only 6.5-strenth quake brought us grief and weeping over loved ones' bodies. If it comes from hell, hell must be serious! Please help us, don't let rubble bury us alive. It was a great hardship for our children, injured old men and women to live through the frigid desert nights; don't neglect any affordable help. But near these poverty stricken people is a luxury castle by this name new castle of Bam the funder of that was Hashemi (second figure of Islamic republic). Why does it stand still but old Bam is levelled?
Ali, Zahedan, Iran

Oh my God this loss is unbearable...but give bereaved families courage to bear the loss. I appeal for all countries to please for God sake help these people┐ please.
Dharm, Karachi, Pakistan

In this condition it is the duty of all countries to help Iran┐ it is a national damage, many people have been killed and many injured. Without any question all people in the world are joining together and I am sure they show this subject their action.
Iman, Esfahan-Iran

As a representative of Iranian Kurdish students I deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our deepest sympathy go to their families and to all humane society.
Hossein Aghapouri, Zahedan, Iran

Heavens. It is one of the most grievous disasters I have ever seen. Several thousands of my people have died in seconds. Its havoc was so stupendous I wonder what to write. My thoughts and prayers are with all survivors and the dead people. Also thanks for your condolences...
Mahdi, Shiraz Iran

Many of my friends and their relatives have died
Fatemeh, Kerman
I was asleep while earthquake happened in our city. It wasn't so much terrible and I couldn't believe how much Bam has been damaged when I heard it. Many of my friends and their relatives have died. Today I myself was watching a horrible scene of a dying little girl in hospital. The only words that she said had referred to her parents; crying and wanting her parents. I'm sure you know how much terrible this situation was.

I have to be thankful about Germany, England, Russia, China, Japan, France and even USA government for helping and regretting about Iranian people. I have thank all people around the world, I love you all. We have to help the ones who need our helping hands and then remember them to be remembered while we are in need. One of the most important things in this earthquake is Bam's citadel. It has been damaged badly (over 90%). We have to repair it again and we need your help. Hope we never see a condition like this.
Fatemeh, Kerman

In my 40 years I have seen more than 10 major earthquake disasters in Iran. It is high time to reconsider policies regarding building construction. Imagine what a tragedy it might be if quake hits Tehran? We can't change the nature but we can adopt our buildings in order to escape such horrible lost of life and property. Or is it too much to ask in Iran?
Sina Dashti, Stockholm .Sweden

My deepest and heartfelt sympathies and condolences to those families who have lost loved ones. This is a terrible tragedy in a massive scale. My prayers, thoughts and sympathies are with the Iranian people affected by this. I urge my Indian government to immediately dispatch whatever is required to aid and assist the people affected. May god stand by you people in this hour of tragedy and trial. All the Indian people stand by you at this hour of tragedy. God Bless.
Shashi Kiran, Bangalore, India

My heart goes out to the people of Bam and Iran. Such an ill-expected and large scale devastation! I am shocked for those involved and my sympathy truly goes out to them. Incidents such as this, make me view my own life and environs in perspective, and I wish I could more personally help. I hope my country sees past differences and offers help to those afflicted.
Antony R, Seattle, USA

I am deeply saddened by the tragic news of earthquake in the city of Bam. My prayer and deepest sympathy go to the residents of Bam and to the Iranian people. I don't have any words to express my feelings at this sad news. May God give us strength, courage, peace and love as we move ahead.
Sukhdarshan Dhaliwal, Kansas City, Kansas, USA

I'm an Iranian girl. Please help us. The weather is so cold and they don't have any warm cloths, food, water. They have nothing. Many of them died because the cold weather last night. God Bless them.
Narges, Tehran - Iran

I wasn't in Bam that moment, but have gone to hospital in Kerman for help since early morning, I saw three people dieing including a small boy, some injured being taken to hospital had died on the way, I saw a seventeen years old girl being cut into two parts, she was dying but there was no skilled doctor to help her, I just could stop the bleeding on her foot but she had no more blood, I saw her die while I couldn't do anything for her.
Mahzad Shahriari, Kerman/Iran

It's an awful disaster. Hospitals are full. Injurers need blood food and blanket. I think the most important point is planning to how save the people who buried under rubble and transfer the injurers to a safe area. Expert International organization can help Iranian people and government.
Ali Nazemi, Tehran - Iran

Iran is no stranger to earthquakes, many catastrophic ones have struck this land, the latest one takes place in a city, located in the desert, clay houses, poor transportation, cold time of the year, knocks over the two hospitals, flattens the adobe buildings, total despair, many lives are lost, the hole country and the world bereaved. It is considered a natural disaster, still a sad tragedy for anyone who hears. It makes me feel so SAD!
Yazdan H, Tehran, Iran

My heart goes out to all my fellow-Iranian people and my thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. This is a national tragedy for all Iranian people whether they live in Iran or are residents abroad. Not only our people have lost their lives to this disaster but one of our most cherished historical cities has been reduced to rubble and what we can only do is to pray, and offer our help to those who need it most during these hard times. And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the International Community for their assistance and help at these times of mourning for the Iranian people.
Mehras Abedian, London, United Kingdom

The death toll due to this tragedy is utterly horrific
Hesham, Yemeni living in New Zealand
I wish to express my sincerest condolences to the people of Iran. The death toll due to this tragedy is utterly horrific. I hope immediate relief is on the way for the injured and the homeless. This is indeed another dreadful day for Iran and the world. God bless you all.
Hesham, Yemeni living in New Zealand

I think our vulnerability to quakes is not due to insufficient engineering design codes. You know, city of Bam has been categorized as a region with "fairly high risk of quake" in Iran's official and mandatory earthquake design code for buildings. But unfortunately people perception of life threatening risks is poor and communicating risk estimates to the public could be a challenge for engineers. To this one must add the fact that Muslims typically consider flood, quakes and other natural disasters as divine punishments so that their attitude towards such potential hazards may render risk reductions measures derelict.
Vahid V. Motlagh, Tehran, IRAN

This is a big tragedy not only for Iranians but all humans. Precious lives were lost in seconds. I hope that the world will learn from this tragedy and feel each others pain.
Mina, Kabul, Afghanistan

This is a terrible tragedy for Iran and the World. I have personally seen what physical damage an earthquake can do to a community in Turkey (1999) and in San Francisco (1989). However, few of us can even imagine the pain and suffering of those who have lost fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. It is at a time like this that we can all put aside political differences and reach out o help those in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with those people suffering in Iran
Bob Ward, Alexandria, Virginia USA

I was in Bam in June this year (2003). The earthquake is a piece of shocking news to me as well as all of the people who has visited there before. As a backpacker I think all of us are concerning whether our friend Mister Akbar and his family is alright or not. He runs a pretty good guesthouse in Bam that almost all of the travellers stay there. His hospitality and his philosophical attitude towards life made the Akbar's Guesthouse a little paradise in that oasis. If anybody has any news about Akbar and his family, please let us know! I keep my fingers cross to them, and the victims of the disaster.

I was in Bam only four weeks ago, and the people there were fantastic. My heart is with them. If anyone has more information about Akbar's guesthouse and Abar and his family, please let me know...many people travelling in Iran love this man and place.
David Wuyts, Antwerp, Belgium

I'm an Iranian boy. I'm very sad of Bam's quake. I ask you (people) help us help us ...
Jamal, Iran-Shiraz

I was under the rubbles of Roudbar with one of my friends for three hours
Neville Mistry, Tehran, Iran
I was under the rubbles of Roudbar with one of my friends for three hours - he gave me hope to stay alive and died just before we were rescued, I just want to say there are people alive and waiting/hoping for rescue please help them.
Neville Mistry, Tehran, Iran

I knew Kerman people because I live near the Kerman province. They were warm, kind, hospitable... I am so sorry about Bam, because it was a part of Kerman. I am going there to help alive people.
Iraj Asghari, Nyriz - Fars

I'm so sad because of this earthquake. It was 6.3 but killed thousands. Bam is one of the ancient cities in Iran and its "Arg" is a architecture masterpiece which is now destroyed. God bless all of the killed people.
Sadra Sadraddini, Tabriz, Iran

I have deeply shocked by the news of the deadly earth quack. I feel really sorry for the Bam residents and hope all the countries regardless of their diplomatic relations with Tehran will come forward to assist the affected people.
Arun.M, Coimbatore and India

I am grieved to the sad news about the death and injured of thousands Iranian in the quake. Although I have not seen yet the city of Bam, I heard about the ancient and beautiful places in this city. I hope all Iranians and all the world should help the victims. And God bless all of you.
Mohammadyasin, Helmand/Afghanistan

My condolences are with all Iranians at these difficult times. I witnessed the destruction that was caused in northern Iran, Gilan, in 1990 and the pain it caused. In a country with such terrible track record of deadly earthquakes, we should be doing more to reduce the casualties. Earthquakes education and constant monitoring of buildings and other structures by authorities would help in reducing the pain that is caused when nature strikes. Lessons are to be learnt everywhere in Iran and all over the world.
Mehdi Razzaghi, London, UK

Hearing the earthquake news and death toll shocked and saddened me, "May Allah bless all those who lost their lives". As neighbour of Iran, I wish my country could also help, but we will remember our brothers and sisters in our prayers.
Muhib, Kabul, Afghanistan

I think the whole world is shocked at the scale of this earthquake, and all our sincere sympathies are with the people of Iran. May I urge everyone to contribute some practical support in the form of immediate donations. Organisations like International Red Cross have setup urgent appeal funds. Please donate even something, it will all help.
Rob Jones, UK

I live 150 miles from Bam city... I felt the earthquake while I was in bed - I woke up and escaped
Maryam Arabpoor, Zarand
I lost my wife in this earthquake, she was all of my life. I am very sad but I think Bam's people need international help. I have decided to go Bam to help the children and old people of Bam. I think I can't find my wife, but I will try to save other people.
Asghar Ghasemi, Tehran, Iran

At 5:28 today, my wife, my six-year-old daughter, and I anxiously got out of bed as the horrible quake kicked in. Moments later we were in the alley and my wife was screaming: "Oh!... earthquake!... escape...escape!" Psychologically, the experience was devastating. We were transfixed, frozen and didn't know what to do. This short episode occurred in Zarand, a city nearly 200 kilometers from Bam where the "actual" tragedy was unjustly offered by nature. Now imagine what the Bam people felt when they experienced everything shaking, terrible quake sounds rushing in, ceiling lamps swinging, power going out, neighbours shouting in the darkness, walls falling over...
Abdolhossein Abdollahi, Zarand-Kerman, Iran

The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal following the Iran earthquake. The number is 0207 245 1000 or donate online www.redcross.org.uk
Mark Astarita, director fundraising, London

As an overseas Iranian, I am deeply saddened to learn of this tragic news. My heart and sympathy goes to my fellow Iranians and in particular, the residents of the city of Bam. I spent several days in Bam in 1998. I found the people of Bam very warm and hospitable. I just can't accept that the ancient city of Bam (Arg-e Bam) with all its beauty and unique architecture is now a mere pile of rubble.
Paymaan Mahdavi, Sydney Australia

I visited Bam in the year 2001. Totally captivated by its rich cultural heritage and the hospitality of the people. So sad to hear that a great deal perished. Iran is a treasure-trove full of jewels of civilisation and its people intelligent and friendly. My deepest condolences to all who have suffered from the tragedy.
Wong Bik Chee, Hong Kong,China

The loss of so much life in such a remarkable place is a sad day for the world
Steve Mcgrath, Canada
I feel very sorry for the people of Bam. Obviously, construction methods in the 16th Century were not designed for the serious and regular earthquakes that Iran is subject to. However, as a civil engineer who worked in Iran years ago, I must point out that current Iranian building practice is not better. Virtually all buildings built over the past 40 years in Iran would have been flattened by a similar quake. The recent disaster nearby in Qazvin should be seen as a warning. The real problem is the fatalistic attitude of individuals and authorities.
Labib Nassim, Carlisle, UK

I live 150 miles from Bam city. I felt the earthquake while I was in bed - I woke up and escaped. I am gravely sorry for many children who died in this horrible quake and for destruction of the ancient Arg-e-Bam.
Maryam Arabpoor, Zarand, Kerman province

News that I have from Bam says 90% of this city has been destroyed and around 7,000 persons died. My grandmother, uncles and aunts are among them.
Ali Shamdani, Tehran, Iran

I am so sorry to hear about this disaster. I don't know, how we can protect ourselves from these disasters.
Fatima, Tehran, Iran

Earlier this week I hid under my desk at work while my office building swayed from the impact of a 6.5-strenth quake whose epicenter was 200 miles south. Although this earthquake was stronger than today's quake in Bam, only 2 people sadly lost their lives, and very few buildings were destroyed. We should be truly thankful that we have the good luck to live in a region where structures are designed to cope with seismic events, and where hospitals and clinics are abundant. I sincerely hope the US will offer its financial support to Iran, as it would to its own citizens.
Clare Kirk, San Mateo, CA

Poor building methods in Iran are the cause of these high numbers of deaths
Mohammadreza Yavari, Tehran
I am deeply shocked by this earthquake. I personally had some relatives in Bam. I was affected by an earthquake, although it was not so great. Half the town was destroyed and I was lucky to escape. Bam's earthquake will have had undoubtedly much severe aftermath with a lot of casualties, as in the experience I had - nearly 800 people died. I hope that events like this can be avoided in the future as they are very distressing and they cost a lot of innocent lives.
Air Reza, Tehran, Iran

I am really sorry for the people of this region. They were all asleep when the earthquake happened. Many people were killed. I really beg for international for help to people of this region of my country. God bless all of you.
Maryam Hamada, Tehran, Iran

I visited Bam as a tourist last Friday. The 2000 year-old city of 11,000 people was totally intact and you could imagine the people living their lives there. This is a great tragedy for the world.
Fred Fishkin, New York, USA

I have some friends there - I hope I can hear from them sooner or later<
Fauzia, Trieste
I visited Bam 2 years ago. The hospitality of the people cannot be matched anywhere in the world. The loss of so much life in such a remarkable place is a sad day for the world.
Steve Mcgrath, Canada

I lost one of my best best friends in an earthquake 13 years ago in Roudbar, I really know what the victims' families feel, and wish that the able countries will help the affected.
Armin Doroudian, Tehran, Iran

It is really bad news. Poor building methods in Iran are the cause of these high numbers of deaths. The Iranian Government should think about it instead of building very poor buildings and only considering of quantity but not the quality of buildings built. I am sorry for all good and hospitable people of Bam.
Mohammadreza Yavari, Tehran, Iran

I have seen an earthquake in Gujarat (India). The experience was horrible and I feel for the Iranian people who suffered, and pray that god give them strength to come out from this tragedy.
Nasar, India

This is a terrible tragedy. So many innocent lives - many of whom children, have been lost. I hope the international community will react quickly and provide assistance with equipment and rescue teams as well as financial support to those affected.
Alex Ivancevic, Southampton

I have family living close to earthquake sensitive areas. It is a tragedy that so many people have died. Our prayers and thoughts must go out to all those families who have lost loved ones.
Seyyed Reza Moosavi, Manchester, UK

I am really shocked on hearing the news. I have some friends there - I hope I can hear from them sooner or later. I beg for the international help to rescue the people in trouble. God bless all of you
Fauzia, Trieste


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