Day 73 (1): The greatest tragedy to befall Iran in recent years
Bam Travel Blog› entry 104 of 260 › view all entries
June 17th, 2010 – by: Biedjee
Boxing Day, 2003, 5:30 AM. An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hits the town of Bam, 200 km south-east of Kerman. The mud-brick town, south-east Iran's biggest tourist attraction is flattened in an instant, leaving 31,000 people dead. The large number of dead is attributed to the nature of the mud-brick buildings, many people suffocated from the dirt and dust whipped up as their 2000 year old homes collapsed. Seven years later, Bam still hasn't recovered.
The biggest tourist attraction of Bam is the Arg-e Bam, which is still considered the largest adobe structure in the world, despite being all but ruined by the earthquake. As tourists stopped coming to the citadel, money ran out and the rebuilding stagnated.
It is as if after the earthquake, the world forgot about Bam. Or at least, the they forgot about the city of Bam. The Bam citadel has not been forgotten. In the year after the earthquake it was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and a steady trickle of money from UNESCO means that unlike the city, the citadel is slowly being restored. It was heart wrenching to see that while the citadel is being rebuilt by a whole army of workmen, the city itself contains many unfinished buildings. There are even several ruined remains of adobe houses which have never been cleared.
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