World Relief Responds to Earthquakes in Iran

( [email protected] ) Jan 02, 2004 11:53 AM EST

Baltimore -- "Unfortunately, devastating earthquakes are a regular occurence in Iran," said one Iranian Christian leader about the sixth earthquake that devastated Iran in the last 30 years. "It is also extremely sad that the world will soon forget the victims." This earthquake is indicating a high need for emergency relief including medical supplies. World Relief is supporting four teams of local Iranian Christians in Bam, providing emergency essentials such as food, water and blankets to quake survivors. After these initial distributions, World Relief will assess the area's needs for on-going relief and rehabilitation projects.

The death toll could reach 40,000 - according to Iranian officials - from the earth quake that rocked the ancient city of Bam, Iran, last Friday, December 26. Already, more than 30,000 have been injured and more than 10,000 hospitalized.

More than 20,000 bodies have been recovered, so far, from Bam - a city of 80,000 residents located about 630 miles southeast of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

The majority of Bam's buildings constructed of mud-brick were easily destroyed by the 6.6 magnitude quake. Most of Bam's residents were buried alive because they were asleep when the quake struck.

"I've visited churches all around the world and my favorite is the church in Iran," said World Relief president, Clive Calver. "We must reach out to those who re suffering in the wake of this awful tragedy."

For nearly 60 years, World Relief has worked with local churches to fight against poverty. Operating in more than 20 countries and 26 cities in the U.S., World Relief's programs include disaster relief, refugee assistance, AIDS ministries, community health, agricultural development and community banking.