Iraq War Poses Seismic Threat to Armenia

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The president of the Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior Sergey Balasanian–speaking at news conference on Tuesday–cautioned that if the bombs utilized to bombard Iraq are as powerful as those used in Afghanistan–then severe earthquakes may result in the South Caucasus–and other high-seismic areas adjacent to Iraq.

"The war in Iraq is quite dangerous from the viewpoint of seismology. One of the consequences of the bombings will be increased seismic activity in this region," Balasanian revealed. He added that after Tora-Bora–Afghanistan was hit with depth bombs–the seismic situation in the region underwent significant change.

While only two earthquakes were registered in Afghanistan and neighboring countries in 2001–the number of earthquakes in that region reached seven–and were bigger in scale after the use of depth bombs in Afghanistan–he said. Vacuum and magnetic bombs used in Afghanistan and Iraq generate 100 to 1,000 times more detonation effect than conventional ones.

"A one ton depth bomb can generate a detonation effect of 10,000 tons," Balasanian explained–adding that countries within the range of 500 kilometers from the detonation site (Armenia and Iran are in this range) can experience serious consequences. Mr. Balasanian pointed to Monday’s earthquake in Iran–saying that serious concerns have been raised among scientists.

"The fact is that there is a possibility of threat for Armenia and neighboring countries," Balasanian concluded–and added that he is going to raise the issue during the coming international seismology conference to be held in Nice–France–on May 5.

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