This one-meter resolution satellite image of Bam, Iran was taken by Digital Globe’s IKONOS satellite on Dec. 27, 2003, just one day after a catastrophic earthquake struck the historic city. The image shows widespread destruction as a result of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that leveled 70 percent of the buildings according to news reports.
Clearly seen in this image is the 2,000-year-old citadel, considered the world’s largest mud fortress. According to news reports, much of the medieval fortress crumbled like a sand castle when the quake hit. The citadel was a popular tourist attraction and is on the register of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and has been a World Heritage site.
Bam is located about 1,000 km (620 miles) southeast of Tehran.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.