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Iran's strategy on natural disaster risk management.

Having confronted with more than 34 out of 41 types of known natural disasters, Iran has one of the longest histories in challenging the natural disasters. In recent years there have been one earthquake with extremely high human and property losses, every five years on the average. Among these earthquakes of the recent years, the 2003 Bam, the 2004 Baladeh, and the 2005 Zarand earthquakes are the most manifesting ones. With respect to the number of natural disaster and the socio-economic impacts, extensive planning have been implemented in the course of the recent two decades in order to mitigate natural disaster effects that in this study some of them will be discussed.


With respect to rise in the number of natural disasters and the following mortality and socio-economic impacts, extensive planning have been implemented in the course of the recent two decades in order to mitigate natural disasters effects and consequences to an acceptable level, some of which will be discussed in the following:

Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Development Policy Planning and Implementation in Iran

A. Revision of the Natural Disaster Emergency Management Structure of the Country

In the course of the recent years, especially after occurrence of the Bam earthquake, a modification to the emergency management system structure has been adopted by taking a new approach regarding more importance and attention to pre planning (public training, promotion of safety precautions, early warning, awareness and preparedness).

Considering the great importance of natural disaster management the First Vise president of the country was nominated by the High Council of natural disaster prevention and management, to observe the trend of related operations.

B. Natural Disaster Management in Policies and Development Plans of the Country

With new approach, due to the great importance of NDM, the necessity of sustainable macro planning for this issue is observed in the 4th Cultural, Social and Economic Plan of the Country. The following pivots have been confirmed in macro policies of the country:

1. Prevention and disaster risk reduction in urban & rural regions and enhancement of safety factor in new constructions.

2. Earthquake risk reduction at present status of urban and rural sectors with human life protection based policies.

3. Establishment of integrated information management with contribution of relevant scientific research institutes and key executive organizations for prompt and precise information dissemination during & after disaster--particularly floods and earthquake.

4. Early warning and prompt information dissemination regarding regions vulnerable and prone to natural disaster, by utilization of early warning systems technology.

5. Codification and implementation of integrated research and scientific programs for social and psychological rehabilitation of victims and comprehensive renovation of damaged urban and rural regions.

6. Expansion, support and regulation of multilateral scientific research on earthquake through development and completion of seismic & strong motion networks, mobilization of earthquake laboratories network in the Country, completion of N.D. early warning systems, N.D. risk zoning maps, and seismic micro zoning of the country.

7. Training and encouragement of authorities and general public to become more acquainted with earthquake prevention and develop adequate judgment along with the knowledge to take effective action during a disaster.

8. Establishing an assessment system for N.D. risk reduction management approach in the country in order to have an efficient disaster management system.

Performed Measures

In recent two decades with knowledge enhancement of lecturers in universities and research centers of the Country and particular attention of authorities to natural disasters noticeable results have been achieved. Parts of these achievements are as follows:

1. Research

In addition to a noticeable increase in number of specialists, university lecturers and research centers involved in natural disasters and disaster mitigation, enjoyment of modern technologies in development activities, required applied research in preventive measures

2. Preparation and codification of Technical Managerial and Safety Codes, Criteria and Guidelines

Iranian Code of Practice for Seismic Resistant Design of Buildings (Standard no. 2800) and retrofitting guideline for existing structures are among codified and notified codes in the Country.

3. Retrofitting Plan for Public Buildings, Infrastructure Facilities, and Lifelines as a Preventive Measure

Allocating funds, guiding and monitoring retrofitting research studies and performing projects including:

--Major hospitals, rescue centers & fire stations

--Strategic buildings, military and police headquarters

--Universities and schools

--Tehran major bridges & important railroad bridges

--Key fuel facilities and main refineries of the Country

--Major telecommunications centers, radios and TV stations

--Power plants, transmitting & distributing networks, and urban water networks

4. Rural Housing Integrated Plan as a Preventive Measure

5. Natural Disasters Information Networks

Currently there are variety of information networks in the Country, and particularly in geological data and meteorological information analysis some great goals have been accomplished.

Among the aforesaid networks are:

--Iranian Space Agency

--Iran Strong Motion Network

-National Seismic Network of IIEES

--National Geosciences Database of Iran

--Seismic Geodynamics Database of NCC

--IR of Iran Meteorological Organization

--Institute of Geophysics Seismograph Networks

6. Early Warning and Forecasting Systems

In this regard a large number of research have been initiated since Bam earthquake, of which extensive activities have been planned and implemented at Natural Disaster Research Institute of Iran. The implemented research and studies have led to a series of satisfactory out put for forecasting the time, location, and the intensity of the earthquake within a satisfactory range. These designed equipment has been installed as a pilot project in provinces of the country and based on the resulted data, it will be available internationally in near future.

7. International and Regional Cooperation & Exchange of Views

Iran has experienced the establishment of regional centers with regional and international communities, including:

--Regional Center on Urban Water Management (RCUWM)--Tehran

--Regional center on Drought Management at IRIMO

--Natural Disaster Risk Management as joint projects with international organizations:

--Improving Access to Information on Disaster Risk Management by Establishing Information System

--Urban Earthquake Risk Reduction Program with Focus on Local & Intermediate Levels in two Selected Cities

--Facilitating Knowledge Networking for Disaster Risk Management at the Subregional Level

--National Disaster Risk Management System as a joint project


The Country's main approach towards natural disaster was focused on post-disaster affairs management, but in recent years the preventive measures and comprehensive approaches of disaster risk reduction as, public training and promotion of the culture of prevention, enhancement of applied research, codification of required guidelines, expansion of natural disaster information networks, ... etc. were highly considered by the Government. And the results of the aforementioned policies & activities were clearly observed in Zarand earthquake disaster management in 2004.


Low of the 4th Economic, Social & Cultural Development Plan of the I.R. of Iran (2005-2009), 2004, MPO

Iran National Report on Natural Disaster Management in WCDR, June 2005, Hyogo, Japan

BHRC (2005): Iranian Code of Practice for Seismic Resistant Design of Buildings, Standard No. 2800, BHRC- PN S 253 3rd ed, Building and Housing Research Center Press.

Quryshi, M and Tehranizadeh, M. (1997): National Earthquake Research Report, Scientific Research Council of Iran, Earthquake Committee Press.

Tehranizadeh, M. (1996): Main Issues of National Earthquake Research Plan of Country, Scientific Research Council of Iran, Civil and Earthquake Commission Press.


Phd student, Facualty Engineering, Tehran University Tehran, Iran


Deputy General Director, Technical, Criteria Codification and Earthquake Risk Reduction Affairs Bureau MPO Tehran, Iran
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Article Details
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Author:Ghanefar, S.J.; Tabar, A.
Publication:Geotechnical Engineering for Disaster Mitigation and Rehabilitation
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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