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Iran at risk 300 times day of huge explosion ‘more deadlier than Beirut blast’
August 29, 2020
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Millions could die in Iran as the country is at high risk of suffering a "tragedy even worse than Beirut" due to oil tankers being situated in an earthquake zone, an expert warns.
Its capital city, Tehran, could one day experience a devastating quake as it stands on a fault line – which coupled with an explosion – could be disastrous, it has been warned.
This is because, according to Tehran City Council Majid Farahani member, an oil department in Shahran, which is north-west of the city, has the potential to cause a disaster worse than the one seen in Beirut earlier this month.
The major blast claimed the lives of 181 people, and left 300,000 people homeless.
The tragedy was allegedly caused by a huge amount of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the port of the city.
But in Tehran, with a capacity of 30,000 litres of oil spread across 300 tankers, an accidental explosion at the Shahran facility could cause widespread damage – especially as it's right in the middle of an earthquake zone.
Mr Farahani stated that "Shahran faces danger 300 times a day and nobody is paying any attention" and likened the danger to a hydrogen bomb.
When asked about how many people could be affected by a potential disaster, Human Rights Activist and Iranian journalist Kourosh Sehati said: "There are at least three facilities in Tehran. Shahran in the northwest, Sohanak in the northeast, and Rey in the south part of the city. I can say millions. Much more than Beirut."
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He also said the government needs to move these facilities out of the cities to avoid the devastation.
Mr Sehati claims there are several large oil facilities around the country, not just in the capital city and "little is being done to mitigate the risk," he adds.
The city of Tehran is located on an active fault called Mosha-Fasham.
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"The government’s crisis management is weak. Not enough help to victims in several earthquakes. Buildings are old, and new ones are not standard. Any powerful earthquake is a disaster, and if any happen in Tehran it can take millions of lives," added Mr Sehati.
In June, an explosion in the capital killed 13 people after four gas cylinders blew up beneath a hospital near Tajrish Square.
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It is not yet clear how the gas cylinders exploded, but the Deputy Governor of Tehran, Hamid Reza Goudarzi, confirmed a gas leak as the cause to state TV.
This comes as Iran has been accused of covering up a "very, very suspicious" explosion at an underground nuclear site.
In July, American analysts noticed there had been a fire and an explosion at a facility in Natanz, some 200 miles from Tehran, which has since been identified as a new centrifuge production plant.