On 20 June 1990 a major earthquake (Ms 7.7) occurred in northern Iran; thousands of people lost their lives, and many more lost their homes. The damage was substantial and spread over a widely populated area. An overview of the geology and seismology of the area is presented here; foreshock and aftershock activities are examined; the attenuation model of the peak ground acceleration is developed for both horizontal and vertical components and compared with the existing models; and the observed damage is discussed.

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