TEHRAN — At least five million Tehran residents need to relocate
elsewhere because Iran's capital sits on several fault lines and is
threatened by earthquakes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday.
cannot order people to evacuate the city... but provisions have to be
made. At least five million should leave Tehran so it is less crowded
and more manageable in case of an incident," Mehr news agency quoted
him as saying.
Ahmadinejad said the government could offer "land,
loans at four percent interest and substantial subsidies" in the
provinces to encourage Tehran residents to leave the sprawling capital.
province has nearly 14 million inhabitants, eight million of whom live
in the city which straddles several fault lines. Experts warn that a
strong quake in Tehran could kill hundreds of thousands of people.
Ahmadinejad said that 67 percent of Iran's 74-million-strong population lives in urban areas.
cannot predict when an earthquake will happen. But if anything happens
to Tehran province's 13.8 million residents how can we manage that?" he
Iran is prone to frequent quakes, many of which have been devastating.
worst in recent times hit the southern city of Bam in December 2003,
killing 31,000 people -- about a quarter of the population -- and
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