The township of Bam is located to the east of KERMAN province, and lies at a distance of 1,283 km. from Tehran. To its north is the township of Kerman, to its west Bardseer, in the east is Jiroft and to the south lies the province of Sistan Va Baluchestan. The city of Bam is the main city of this township, and is located in a vast plain between the two mountain ranges of Barez and Kabudi. In the plains it experiences a warm climate, whereas in the higher altitudes, moderate weather prevails. Regarding its ancient history, this city intermingles with that of the old Bam citadel, which accounts as the largest city of the world that is made of sun dried bricks.
The 2003 Bam earthquake struck Bam and the surrounding Kerman province of south-eastern Iran at 01:56 UTC (5:26 AM Iran Standard Time) on 26 December 2003. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale (Mw); estimated by the United States Geological Survey.
The earthquake was particularly destructive, with the death toll amounting to 26,271 people and injuring an additional 30,000. The effects of the earthquake and damage was exacerbated by the fact that the city chiefly consisted of mud brick buildings, many of which did not comply with earthquake regulations set in Iran in 1989, and that most of the city's people were indoors and asleep. Due to the earthquake, relations between the United States and Iran thawed.
Following the earthquake the U.S. offered direct humanitarian assistance to Iran and in return the state promised to comply with an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency which supports greater monitoring of its nuclear interests. In total a reported 44 countries sent in personnel to assist in relief operations and 60 countries offered assistance and support.
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