This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Demographics of Risk in Iran's Latest Earthquake

Iran lies along major earthquake fault lines and has an unfortunate history of deadly quakes. Yesterday's killed at least 300 (more will doubtless be discovered as the rubble is uncovered) and injured thousands more. The devastation was exacerbated by the fact that the villages hit were largely comprised of mud brick homes that had no reinforcement and so simply collapsed from the force of the earthquake, killing or at least injuring anyone inside. And who was most likely to be inside?
“Most of the dead are women and children, as the earthquake happened during the day, when many men were out working,” said Marjan Lagaei, an Iranian reporter who traveled to the area.One Iranian seismologist, Bahram Akasheh, said that Saturday’s temblor was relatively mild, and attributed the loss of life to shoddy construction and poor oversight. “Nowhere in the world would a magnitude 6 earthquake kill so many people. There shouldn’t have been more than 10 injured,” he told the semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency on Sunday.
Mr. Akasheh, who has long predicted millions of deaths if an earthquake were to strike the capital, said Iran needed to prepare for even worse disasters in the future.
“Soon we will be hit by a 7 or higher quake,” he said. “I am very worried.”

Would there be greater concern about preparing for the "big one" if the people disproportionately at risk of injury or death were males?

1 comment:

  1. Not so much what if the victims were male as "what if they were the rulers and their families.."