Iran News ...


4/14/04

No epidemic disease in Iran's quake stricken Bam: WHO advisor

Tehran, April 14, IRNA -- An advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), Claude De Ville, said here Wednesday no epidemic diseases have to date been observed in the quake-stricken city of Bam.

Talking to IRNA on the sidelines of a workshop entitled "Lessons From the Bam Earthquake in the Fields of Health and Treatment," said that field hospitals in quake-stricken regions perform a very important role in the treatment of the injured.

Turning to the subject of facilities needed to accommodate victims of earthquakes, he further said that the erection of tents does not provide the proper solution since health requirements are difficult to meet in tents.

The workshop opened here Monday to assess experiences in the health and treatment fields.

The workshop was organized by the World Health Organization in cooperation with the Health and Treatment Organization of the Oil Ministry.

WHO experts as well as representatives from over 20 state and non-governmental organizations took part in the workshop.

A devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale rocked the historical city of Bam in the southeastern province of Kerman on December 26, 2003, killing over 30,000 people and injuring some 9,400.

The quake also destroyed 75.1 percent of many buildings in Bam while others sustained damage of up to 23.9 percent.

Khatami optimistic Bam will be reconstructed, developed before end of term

Tehran, April 14, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami, currently in the city of Bam to oversee progress in the reconstruction work in that quake-devastated city, expressed the hope the city will be reconstructed and normal life restored to residents before the end of his term (August, 2005).

He made the remark at a meeting in the city attended by Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Abdolalizadeh, Minister of the Interior Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed-Jamei and Minister of Health Masoud Pezeshkian as well as local officials such as the chief of the headquarters in charge of reconstruction of Bam, the provincial governor-general and representatives of Bam and Kerman province at the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis).

The meeting was held after the president and his entourage completed a four-hour inspection of devastated sites and ongoing reconstruction work.

During his inspection, President Khatami talked to city folks and was briefed on their problems, particularly those following the killer quake which hit the city on December 26, 2003 that left over 30,000 dead and thousands of others injured.

President Khatami, looking at the magnitude of destruction, said that the city has been left in ruins and that reconstruction would not be an easy task. He praised the local officials, relief organizations and ordinary people for their resilience and quick response to cries for help of victims of the quake.

He also underlined the need to give due attention to the cultural value of the city and take this into consideration in ongoing reconstruction work on the devastated city.

Expressing his appreciation to foreign governments and aid agencies for their humanitarian help provided to the quake-stricken people, Khatami said foreign aid received by the government so far stands at dlrs 7.5 million, but the actual amount of aid committed by foreign donors amounts to dlrs 400 million.

He added: "A large amount of the foreign aid is in the form of credits which will be allocated to Bam on the basis of agreements to be inked with the donating countries."

The president said that the govenment has also alloted rls 2,000 billion in credits for reconstruction of Bam and that reconstruction work in that city enjoys a priority in government credits.

President Khatami arrived in Bam Tuesday to oversee progress on the city's reconstruction.

The visit is the second by the Iranian president to the devastated city since December 26, 2003, the day the killer quake struck.

On Tuesday, he launched construction work on 800 residential units in the city for the tens of thousands that have been rendered homeless by the quake. Rls 120 billion has been allocated for the project.

The president also inspected other housing projects being carried out in the city and its suburbs as well as a girls school. He also inspected ongoing construction work on a 96-bed hospital which is to rise on 7,800 square meters of land in the city. The project has an allocation of rls 50 billion and 25 percent of the work is complete. The hospital is expected to be operational by the end of summer.

Bam residents, who had the opportunity of talking to the president, asked him to speed up the construction of houses which, they say, is a priority in the reconstruction of the city.

... Payvand News - 4/14/04 ... --



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