When a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Iran’s northwestern province of East Azerbaijan earlier in 2012, the impact on the population was enormous.
Over 300 people were killed while over 3000 were injured. XGMA’s Iranian dealer Sadaf Machine responded to the earthquake quickly by sending machines and operators to join the rescue operations in the town of Varzaghan near the City of Ahar and the provincial capital of Tabriz, just one day after the the earthquake struck.
More than 80% of the buildings in most villages of Ahar, which is located in a mountainous area, are built with mud and very vulnerable to quake. Some villages were almost totally flattened by the earthquake, and communications were interrupted in many parts of the region.
After the earthquake, non-governmental organisations joined hands with the Iranian Government in the rescue operations. During the days immediately after the earthquake, XGMA’s Iranian dealer Sadaf Machine made arrangements to have the loaders and excavators in stock of XGMA’s secondary dealer closest to Ahar used for rescue operations and clearing collapsed buildings. One operator who has received operation and maintenance training from XGMA also arrived at the affected area the night after the earthquake, together with his machine, and immediately joined the rescue work. During the day time he was busy operating his XGMA loader to clear the collapsed buildings in a place not far from the makeshift tents which now accommodated the homeless.
XGMA’s XG958 wheeled loader was the primary machine used in the rescue operations, although XG821 excavators were also involved. Sadaf’s headquarters sent two volunteer rescuers and one operator to Varzaghan, to help with the rescue work.
After this, many more XGMA machines were assigned to the area, and XGMA and its Iranian dealer became actively involved in the rebuilding program announced by the Iranian Government.