IRAN: Counting the Dead

"The earth vomited up the bones of the dead and a village with its inhabitants was suspended between heaven and earth during half a day; then it was swallowed up." So wrote the Arab historian Jellal As-Soyuti about an earthquake in medieval Persia. Last week his apocalyptic description again became reality for the people of the lush Qir valley 560 miles south of Teheran.

At 5:38 one morning, 58 villages were destroyed and more than 5,000 of their inhabitants were killed by a massive earthquake. In addition, 2,000 were seriously injured and 20,000...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!