2004 Photo Contest, Spot News, 2nd prize

Atta Kenare

Agence France-Presse

27 December, 2003

A father carries his two sons to be buried after the earthquake that leveled the ancient city of Bam in the early hours of December 26. The initial tremor lasted just 20 seconds, yet killed over 25,000 people, in some cases wiping out entire families. The heavy death toll was attributed to the fact that traditional mud-brick houses collapsed quickly, as people were sleeping. The dust created by the falling houses meant that there was little chance of air-pockets forming under the rubble, which might also have saved lives.

About the photographer

Atta Kenare

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