Poster of the Iran Earthquake of 22 June 2002 - Magnitude 6.5

Tectonic Summary

This Iranian earthquake occurred in the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt. This highly seismic region forms the boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian plates. The Arabian Plate is a small plate split from the African Plate by rifting along the Red Sea. As it collides with the massive Eurasian Plate, it causes uplift of the Zagros Mountains and produces numerous damaging earthquakes.

Earthquake History

Several severe earthquakes have occurred near this recent Iranian event. The most deadly was a magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck on June 20, 1990, located about 150 km to the north of this recent event. This earthquake killed an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people, injured more than 60,000, and left 400,000 or more homeless. There was extensive damage and landslides in the Rasht-Qazvin-Zanjan area and nearly all buildings in the Rudbar-Manjil area were destroyed. Another nearby devastating quake struck on September 1, 1962. This magnitude 7.3 quake killed about 12,000 people. More distant recent events include a February 28, 1997 magnitude 6.1 earthquake occurring about 300 km to the north (near the Armenia-Azerbaijan-Iran border), and a May 10, 1997 magnitude 7.3 event occurring about 1000 km to the east. The February 28th earthquake killed at least 1,100 people, injured 2,600, and left 36,000 homeless. The May 10th earthquake killed at least 1,567 people, injured 2,300, and left about 50,000 homeless.

Other deadly earthquakes occurring within 150 km of this earthquake include:

Date (UTC) MagnitudeComments
1957 12 13 7.3 1130 killed *
1958 08 166.8 137 killed *
1963 03 247.2 About 100 killed *
1983 07 225.6 3 killed, 41 injured
1990 06 215.8At least 20 killed (aftershock of 1990 06 20)
1991 11 285.61 killed, 70 injured
* Data from NOAA

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