Thursday, January 08, 2004

From World Relief
Grim details from Bam, Iran, World Relief president reports
Clive Calver arrived on site yesterday, World Relief planning long-term rehabilitation

BALTIMORE, January 7, 2004 - "There is the awful stench of death in the air; the rubble and debris are consistent from street to street; a few shops and the banks are still standing, but everything else is gone," said World Relief president Clive Calver, who is in Bam, Iran.

Calver arrived in Bam yesterday to assess the area's needs for on-going relief and rehabilitation projects. World Relief is currently supporting a team of local Iranian Christians in Bam, providing emergency essentials such as food, water and blankets to quake survivors.

"Relief efforts are dissonant and very dispersed," said Calver. "People are doing all they can to work together and to cope with people's immediate needs."

The 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook Bam on December 26, 2003 at 5:27 a.m. local time. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that 100,000 to 120,000 people lived in Bam.

According to the USAID/Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), the Government of Iran (GOI) estimates that the earthquake killed 33,000 to 34,000 people, and injured 30,000 others. [Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.]

USAID/DART states that 80 to 90 percent of houses were destroyed in Bam. An estimated 40,000 to 60,000 residents are now homeless.

"There is desperate fear and distress in people's eyes here in Bam," said Calver. "Folks struggle to talk about what the future holds for them."

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