IRAN: The Town That Disappeared

In 90 seconds, the year's worst earthquake kills 25,000

"I was driving home for dinner. Suddenly I thought I had four flat tires. Within seconds, all the houses on both sides of the street collapsed. Then the town disappeared into darkness."

It took only a few seconds more for Hassan Bandegi, 52, head of the town council in the pleasant northeastern Iran community of Tabas, to comprehend what was happening. In a country that has recorded 20,000 earthquakes and aftershocks in the past 18 years and suffered an estimated 100,000 casualties as a result, another temblor of major proportion had struck. In...

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