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Augustino Miozzo, the team leader of Italy's Civil Protection Agency and Co-ordinator for the European Union for the Bam earthquake, has this message for the Iranian people: 'You are an amazing, resilient and courageous people.'
Desperate cries of 'Help me, help me' greeted university student Peyman Majidzadeh when he arrived at this devastated ancient Silk Road city on the morning of Dec 27, a day after the earthquake.
It is often said that one's true nature is revealed during moments of adversity. For the people of Iran, such a moment was the earthquake that levelled 80% of the ancient city of Bam on Dec 26 and left some 30,000 dead. The outpouring of grief was evident in people from all walks of life.
B>DUNHAO (China):/BSitting in their temporary shelter in a government office, Xiong Qimei hugged her two sons and waited anxiously for word that they could return to their village after crews sealed a gas well in China's south-west that spewed toxic fumes and killed at least 198 people.
B>CHONGQING: /B>Villagers were preparing for sleep when the gas well burst with a bang. Then came choking fumes. Families dashed out of their homes in terror, struggling to breathe in the searing cloud.