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Tehran Facing Major Natural Threats
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Tehran Facing Major Natural Threats

During the week “Safeguarding against Earthquakes and Natural Disasters,” Ahmad Sadeghi, Head of the Crisis Prevention and Management Organization, said “major natural threats to Tehran have been identified, including earthquakes.”
Other common natural threats facing Tehran are floods, subsidence (or the motion of a surface usually the Earth’s surface, as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level) storms, droughts, hailstorms and wildfires. People need to be suitably prepared in the case disaster strikes, he said, reports ISNA.
Like earthquakes, several other natural disasters cannot be completely predicted. “What can be done in the face of disasters, logically, is to be prepared and estimate the possible casualties,” Sadeghi said.
Managing crises comprises four steps. Specialized organizations are responsible for carrying out the first: prevention.

 Lacking Equipment
 Sadeghi stated that the meteorological organization was not equipped with the necessary instruments to forecast the storm which took Tehran by surprise on June 2. The storm, which started at 5pm, completely subsided by nightfall and the city was back to normal.
Pointing to the outcome of a natural disaster like an earthquake in Tehran, Sadeghi noted “we mustn’t lie to ourselves. What is clear is that Tehran straddles major seismic fault lines. We can continue to reside where we are but we need to have a correct understanding of this imminent danger and be well-prepared.”
Nearly 14 specialized workgroups collaborate in crises management and each have a specific set of responsibilities. Security, health and hygiene, providing relief, are a few of the main areas where the groups are active. One of the responsibilities of the organization is to promote further collaboration among the workgroups.
“It is almost impossible for earthquakes with a magnitude of 8 to ever occur in Tehran. Potential earthquakes which may occur on the northern faults in Tehran will be of a maximum magnitude of 7.2,” Sadeghi stated.
The old architectural textures in Tehran are highly vulnerable; fortunately necessary measures have been taken in the past few years to renovate and strengthen them.

 Resilience
Stressing the importance of’ awareness of natural disasters and their disastrous outcomes, he said Tehran is now a member of ‘United Nations Making Cities Resilient Campaign.’ The campaign calls for prveparing citizens against natural disasters.
To be immediately warned of danger “is an extremely critical factor. The project in this regard will soon be completed in the capital and in the event of an earthquake necessary warning signals will be sent out 10 seconds prior to the tremor. For security reasons, all gas and electronic installations will immediately cease to function.”
In 374 districts in Tehran, maps indicating the safe areas in times of earthquakes have been designated. These maps will be distributed among families.
Volunteer groups have also been launched in different areas to help citizens prepare for natural disasters, and in case of an emergency, provide quick relief. Efforts are underway to raise their number to 750.
Sadeghi announced the readiness of the organization to provide training to crisis management bodies in high-rise buildings and public areas upon request. The official regretted that the society “is not actively engaged in crisis management” and said several different organizations need to actively participate in this realm. 

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