TECHNICAL REPORT- SHELTERING, FROM RELIEF TO RECONSTRUCTION: One Year after the 2010 East Azerbaijan Province Earthquake

Alireza Fallahi



On 11th August 2012, at 16:53 and 17:04 (local times), two major earthquakes measuring 6.4 and 6.3 respectively on the Richter scale, hit the East Azerbaijan Province, in the North- West of Iran. Although the timing of these strong tremors meant that few residents were at home, approximately 250,000 people and 327 villages were affected by the resulting disaster. The main impacts were felt around the towns of Ahar, Varzaghan and Herees to the North-East of Tabriz, leaving more than 300 residents dead, 4500 injured and 72,000 with damaged or destroyed properties. Considering the climatic and topographic conditions of East Azerbaijan Province, the Housing Foundation of Iran (HF) managed to mobilize and accelerate its activities to minimize the threats posed by the upcoming winter on the people affected by the earthquakes. Using the new concept of “transitional accommodation” in its reconstruction policy, earthquake survivors were initially provided with“  multi-functional units,” which sheltered them from the cold while permanent houses were being constructed. This technical report aims to review the shelter provision process, based on the author’s careful observations and qualitative data collected from the field, a year after the disasters. The report concludes that, although most families are now housed in their permanent shelters, a number of them are still struggling with recovery from the impact the disasters had on their lives. Despite this, great feats have been made in the reconstruction of public service facilities, social and cultural centers, site works and amenities, which are all in the process of being completed.


Sheltering; post-disaster reconstruction; East-Azerbaijan Earthquake; Iran

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