On December 11th, Gorbachev visited Leninakan to witness the damage and talk to survivors. In 1989 an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. In one small town, just after the earthquake, a father rushed to his son's school only to find that the school had been flattened. Water and electrical supplies were also cut off and although some of the electricity was repaired within a week, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, many residences didn't have their electricity restored for months after the earthquake. All the hospitals around Spitak were destroyed, and 80 percent of medical personnel were killed. The 1988 Armenian earthquake, also known as the Spitak earthquake (Սպիտակի երկրաշարժ, Spitaki yerkrasharj), occurred on December 7 at 11:41 local time with a surface wave magnitude of 6.8 and a maximum MSK intensity of X (Devastating). A total of 189 such individuals were identified through neighbourhood polyclinics in the city of Leninakan and 159 noninjured controls were selected from the same neighbourhoods. It began when a reverse fault slipped, pushing one crustal block up relative to the adjacent block. Here's what really happened with that huge earthquake in Armenia. Between 25,000 and 100,000 people are estimated to have died, upwards of 130,000 were injured, and half a million people were rendered homeless. Rumbles from the quake were felt as far as Georgia and Azerbaijan. Humanitarian organizations like the American and British Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières also invested their efforts, but according to Voluntary Action History Society, after an "initial media frenzy and relief operation," news about the earthquake's aftermath was soon absent from the headlines. According to Nature, not many seismologists thought that an earthquake as severe as the Spitak earthquake "was possible in the region." Mental health studies have shown that many of the earthquake survivors still live with post-traumatic stress disorder. In several cases, relief teams ended up stuck in Moscow because officials simply didn't know where to send them. By Jolyon Naegele Prague, 17 March 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Nearly ten years ago, on December 7, 1988, a massive earthquake rocked northwestern Armenia, killing some 50,000 inhabitants. According to EVN Report, some of the delay was caused by "local bureaucracy wait[ing] for orders from the top." After the Armenian earthquake, thousands were given temporary shelters made of concrete blocks or old railway cars. According to The New York Times, most of the medical assistance that was sent for the earthquake, unfortunately, ended up being "of little value. Areas to the southwest of Armenia, such as the northeastern Mediterranean coast, Turkey and Iran, are quite seismically active: More than four quakes with magnitudes greater than six have struck Turkey in the 20th century alone. According to "The Earthquake of Spitak, Armenia, and Its Socio-economic Implications" by Johanna Schott and Talin Kalatas, the insufficient design of the buildings meant that almost all medical care stations and hospitals suffered severe damage. When someone is trapped under tremendous weight from an earthquake or building collapse for upwards of four hours, they become susceptible to crush syndrome. Today in Armenia, Dec. 7 is a day of remembrance: Armenian Earthquake Memorial Day. Throughout the 20th century, there were several earthquakes throughout Armenia, but none caused destruction comparable to the earthquake that struck Spitak in 1988. mewhat similar to the Modified Mercalli scale, and, After hurricanes, U.S. beach homes are rebuilt bigger, Geoethics in the Field: Leading by Example, Inside the inferno: How large firenadoes form, Wind or water? The world united with an outpouring of assistance for relief efforts, which was desperately needed. In one elementary school alone, 400 children were killed. Rescue efforts underway after earthquake strikes the Soviet republic of Armenia – ABC News And although there are over 400 homeless people on the waiting list for housing, there are over 3,000 people who aren't even on the waiting list. American Red Cross President Dick Schubert surveys the damage in Armenia following the earthquake in December. The Spitak earthquake shattered the peace of Armenia 32 years ago. According to the book, Armenia in Crisis: The 1988 Earthquake, the man answered: “What do my hands matter, everything I cherish is under there – my son, my daughter, my wife and my mother.” As a result, the region has been plagued by sever earthquakes for thousands of years: an earthquake in 893 A.D. took an estimated 20,000 lives; another in 1667 took 80,000 lives. Submitted 18 June 1998 by Debra < QEagle@aol.com > as a Father's Day offering. But he had no thought of turning back. According to Associated Press, the plane was carrying medical supplies and tragically all seven crew members died in the crash. It was a message of peace.”. The U.S. — and the world — responded. At 11:41 a.m., the earthquake damaged nearly a third of the small country and destroyed the town of Spitak near the epicenter. The tremor lasted approximately I min ute, followed by an aftershock 4 minutes later of magnitude 5.8. PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia is commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit the northwestern regions of the country on December 7, 1988… On the day of the quake, two men arrive in their home town only to be caught up in the terrible events and must work together to rescue as … Abstract The study attempts to identify predictors of injuries among persons who were hospitalized following the Armenian earthquake of 7 December 1988. When muscles get crushed, their cells start to leak and die, and their contents, including potassium and myoglobin, start to build up. (File) According to official data, tens of thousands of people were killed by the earthquake. One of several reasons why so many buildings suffered so much damage is that the Soviet Union "had only one building code for the entire territory," regardless of whether or not the building was in a coastal or earthquake region. According to the Los Angeles Times, 130 factories were destroyed and at least 170,000 people were out of work. Rescue teams and medical supplies were immediately dispatched to Armenia from the United States, France, India, and Cuba. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of any of the contents of this service without the expressed written permission of the American Geosciences Institute is expressly prohibited. After a brief photo-op with President-elect George Bush Sr. and President Ronald Reagan, Gorbachov cut his trip short and flew back to Moscow. However, according to Earth Magazine, these quakes didn't receive much attention because few thought that there was a serious seismic risk in the region. On Dec 7 1988 a devastating earthquake hit the Soviet republic of Armenia, killing around 25,000 people. Even Pope John Paul II donated $100,000. Despite tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States as a result of the Cold War, according to The Washington Post, in response to the earthquake, the Soviet Union asked for and received aid from the United States. Over 80% of the five-story buildings and over 85% of the nine-story buildings collapsed as a result. On 7 December 1988, Armenia was hit by a devastating earthquake. Thirty years ago this month, on Dec. 7, 1988, a magnitude-6.8 earthquake shook the northern region of the then-Soviet republic of Armenia. Two-thirds of the victims were under 18. However, during this period, the skies were dangerously crowded with planes coming in to supply aid. All rights reserved. “Despite the fact that all necessary measures are being taken … Mikhail Gorbachev believes that when … Over 200 people required dialysis, but even though there were at least 100 dialysis machines, there was "no organized international support structure with appropriate training and deployment strategies." Along with the collapse of the Trans-Caucasus electrical grid, Armenia was left with little-to-no heat and electricity for 1-2 hours a day, plunging Armenia into the "dark and cold years. Soviet officials had claimed that restoration would be completed within two years. Rescue efforts underway after earthquake strikes the Soviet republic of Armenia. In the final month of 1988, Armenia was struck by an earthquake that absolutely devastated the northern region of the country and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, throwing many into housing insecurity that's lasted over 30 years. 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