On 22 June 2002 a large earthquake struck near the town of Avaj in northwestern Iran (figure 1). The earthquake completely destroyed seven villages and severely damaged more than 80 villages; it was felt to distances of 100 km. According to official reports, more than 260 people were killed and 1,300 were wounded. The magnitude of the earthquake was determined to be mb = 6.0 by the Geophysical Institute of Tehran University (GITU), Ms = 6.0 by the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), and Mw = 6.5 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS; http://www.usgs.gov)....

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