A big earthquake drill was held at the schools of the
provincial city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran. Firefighters and special rescue
units participated at this drill.
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the
world, being crossed by several major fault lines in the Earth's crust that
cover at least 90% of the country.
Since 1900, at least 126,000 fatalities have resulted from earthquakes in Iran.
The worst in recent times was a 6.6 magnitude quake which hit the southern city
of Bam in December 2003, killing about 30,000 people, about a quarter of its
population, and destroying the city's ancient adobe citadel.
Tabriz, the capital city of Iran's
East Azerbaijan province, sits at altitude of 1,350 meters above sea level
at the junction of the Ghuri Chay and Aji Chay rivers. It has been the second
largest city in Iran until the late 1960s and one of its former capitals and
residence of the crown prince under the Qajar dynasty. The city has proven
extremely influential in the country's recent history. With a population of
about 1,600,000 [2007 census], Tabriz is Iran's Fourth largest city.