Roughly two-thirds of those who perished as a result of the earthquake were under the age of 18 since the quake struck during the day while most children were at school. And according to "The Earthquake of Spitak, Armenia, and Its Socio-economic Implications," by the next year, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the goal of reconstruction by 1998 was once again postponed since the newly independent Armenia realized that it simply couldn't keep the reconstruction program on track. “Despite the fact that all necessary measures are being taken … Mikhail Gorbachev believes that when … This mountain system began to form during the Late Triassic, largely from the tectonic collision between the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Northern Armenia comprises a mountainous plateau interspersed with populated river valleys and is home to a portion of the Caucasus Mountains, which sit along an active seismic belt spanning from the Alps in southern Europe to the Himalayas in Asia. Rescue efforts underway after earthquake strikes the Soviet republic of Armenia – ABC News The Soviet Union also sent "500 of its best doctors" to Yerevan, per the AP. Today marks 32nd anniversary since 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Armenia. 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. 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. Latest earthquakes in or near Armenia past 30 days. Many consider the poor living conditions to be responsible for their health problems. After the Soviet Union fell, Azerbaijan put a fuel embargo on Armenia in response to the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, blocking a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan. The Armenian National Survey for Seismic Protection was founded in 1991, in addition to the Emergency Management Administration. And although the Red Cross implemented training for emergency-response techniques and first-aid skills in the region, residents in the region are dismissive of these measures, claiming that compared to another earthquake, "unemployment and poverty are more terrifying.". Few seismologists thought an earthquake as powerful as the one in 1988 was possible in the region, according to a 1989 review paper published in Nature. According to the Journal of Emergency and Internal Medicine, nearly 600 people experienced acute kidney failure associated with crush syndrome. According to the Los Angeles Times, 130 factories were destroyed and at least 170,000 people were out of work. Innumerable apartment buildings and industrial facilities collapsed or faced heavy damage. A woman looks at her destroyed house, on December 11, 1988, in the devastated town of Spitak, after an earthquake hit Armenia, on December 7, 1988. Compared to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti which created roughly $7.8 billion in damages, the 1988 Spitak earthquake created $16.2 billion in damages. The … As a result, there were few seismic hazard studies done in the region. December 1988. With average winter temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit, residents in Gyumri have to use small portable stoves to keep warm. American Red Cross President Dick Schubert surveys the damage in Armenia following the earthquake in December. Since most of the buildings had high seismic vulnerability, the newspaper Pravda attributed the scale of the destruction to the poor quality standards of buildings made during Brezhnev's term, according to EVN Report. Dec. 8, 1988: Earthquake in Armenia. The story was quickly picked up by the international media, but it soon turned out that the story was fabricated by reporter Artyom Shahbazian in an effort to remind the international community of the disaster. The effects of the earthquake were absolutely devastating. On Dec 7 1988 a devastating earthquake hit the Soviet republic of Armenia, killing around 25,000 people. Even decades later, about 500 victims of the earthquake remain living in what was intended to be temporary, makeshift housing. He learned of the quake via a telegram from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher describing the situation, conveying sympathy and offering aid. Meanwhile, the first rescue teams didn't arrive until December 10, with chances of survival falling under 50% within six hours after an earthquake. Throughout the 20th century, there were several earthquakes throughout Armenia, but none caused destruction comparable to the earthquake that struck Spitak in 1988. President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev was in New York City when he received a telegram from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher describing what had happened and offering sympathy and aid. 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. He learned of the quake via a telegram from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher describing the situation, conveying sympathy and offering aid. According to Reuters, in 2008, the President Serzh Sarksyan pledged that rehousing and rebuilding the region would be complete by 2012, but the government keeps claiming delays due to "technical difficulties." On 7 December 1988 a devastating earthquake in northern Armenia killed 25,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless in the Soviet republic. In an attempt to offset a six-year-old energy crisis caused by blockades by Azerbaijan and Turkey, the Armenian government in mid-1995 reactivated a nuclear power plant at Metsamor, close since 1988. after the catastrophic earthquake in northern Armenia. Crush syndrome occurs as a result of toxins being released by crushed muscle tissue. 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). This is an incomplete list of earthquakes in Armenia. The economy of the region was also in shambles after the earthquake. In the town of Spitak, out of 36 hospitals, 24 were completely destroyed and 8 were partially destroyed. Whenever the plates moving beneath Armenia … Located on the lawn outside the 17 th street Red Cross building in Washington D.C., is a 30-foot-tall bronze statue of a mother protectively embracing her child. Ultimately, the 1988 Spitak earthquake demonstrated the inadequacies of the entire international humanitarian system. According to EVN Report, some of the delay was caused by "local bureaucracy wait[ing] for orders from the top." According to The New York Times, most of the medical assistance that was sent for the earthquake, unfortunately, ended up being "of little value. Rescue efforts underway after earthquake strikes the Soviet republic of Armenia. The country had no disaster contingency plans and rescue efforts were disorganized, which led to more deaths. International media reports noted criticism of the Soviet Union for its slow response and lack of preparedness. Hundreds of local medical workers were also injured and killed, and more than "500 medical institutions" were destroyed, making it extremely difficult to treat those who were injured and get first aid to the site on time. The supplies included three kidney dialysis machines to help victims crushed by collapsing buildings who experienced kidney failure. While Western media portrayed the Soviet relief operation as inadequate and reflective of the "wider failures of the Soviet system," international relief efforts can be considered to have been equally inadequate due to the non-compatible medical equipment and out-of-date medications supplied. 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. The complex quake involved two or more ruptures on different fault planes. 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. According to Nature, not many seismologists thought that an earthquake as severe as the Spitak earthquake "was possible in the region." And ten years after the earthquake, almost $8 million in post-quake funds remained frozen in a Moscow bank after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 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. Much of the medications that were sent to Armenia were also "past their expiry date and therefore unusable.". Then-Armenian Assembly Board Chairman Hirair Hovnanian leading a delegation bringing humanitarian relief to Armenia after the 1988 earthquake WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the 30th Anniversary of the Spitak Earthquake, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) remembers the thousands of lives lost and villages destroyed after a massive earthquake, registering 6.9 on the Richter Scale, struck… The rupture occurred between 5 and 7 kilometers deep within the Pambak-Sevan thrust and fold zone at the base of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. On 7 December 1988, Armenia was hit by a devastating earthquake. In northern Armenia, the 600-kilometer-long Lesser Caucasus Mountains experience north-south compression as the two plates converge, giving rise to seismic active in recent times: a magnitude-5 earthquake hit Spitak in 1967, a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck Leninakan (now Gyumri) in 1926, and a magnitude-5.3 event hit Kirovakan in 1911. 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. economy of the region was also in shambles, Journal of Emergency and Internal Medicine, The Earthquake of Spitak, Armenia, and Its Socio-economic Implications, Nagorno-Karabakh's annexation referendum in 1988, past their expiry date and therefore unusable. “In the Armenian Republic, thousands of people have died,” Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze said at a news conference on Dec. 8, 1988. 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. On the morning of Dec. 7, the mainshock hit, strongly shaking the region for 30 seconds. Spitak (Armenian: Սպիտակ), is a town and urban municipal community in the northern Lori Province of Armenia.It is 96 km (60 mi) north of the capital, Yerevan, and 22 km (14 mi) west of the provincial centre, Vanadzor.Spitak was entirely destroyed during the devastating 1988 earthquake, and it was rebuilt in a slightly different location. Often, it took up to five hours to travel 46 miles in order to reach hospitals in Yerevan. 140,000 people were injured and 500,000 more were left homeless. The 1988 Armenian earthquake, also known as the Spitak earthquake (Սպիտակի երկրաշարժ Spitaki yerkrašarž), 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). It was followed four minutes later by a magnitude-5.9 aftershock; together these quakes caused extensive damage across a 400-square-kilometer area. On Dec. 10, three days after the quake, three cargo planes carrying U.S. medical supplies and rescue teams, including dogs trained to sniff out survivors buried in the rubble, left Washington, D.C., and a military base in Italy, headed for the Armenian capital of Yerevan, about 100 kilometers from Spitak. In 1988 he was in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, just as the news that an earthquake had leveled Armenia’s Yerevan hit. Several planes would be circling simultaneously, waiting for permission to land. On Dec. 6, 1988, a magnitude-3 earthquake hit northern Armenia, though it received little attention because of the perceived lack of serious seismic risk in the area. There was no sign of life. Despite Cold War tensions, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was in the U.S. on the day of the quake visiting the United Nations and meeting with President Ronald Reagan, asked for humanitarian aid from the United States within days of the event. Rescue efforts continued until December 24th, after which the focus turned towards large scale clearing of the rubble. Since electricity and lights were unavailable during the first night, rescue efforts had to be put on hold during the evening and night until there was light. Red Cross flights brought materials from Eastern and Western Europe, and Britain sent firemen and rescue experts as well as two planes with more than 50 tons of food and medical supplies. Abstract The study attempts to identify predictors of injuries among persons who were hospitalized following the Armenian earthquake of 7 December 1988. At least 259 aftershocks were recorded from December 22nd to January 1st, 1989. What really happened with that huge earthquake in Armenia? Even Pope John Paul II donated $100,000. But he had no thought of turning back. (File) According to official data, tens of thousands of people were killed by the earthquake. Four minutes later, a magnitude 5.9 aftershock hit. Here's what really happened with that huge earthquake in Armenia. When muscles get crushed, their cells start to leak and die, and their contents, including potassium and myoglobin, start to build up. The Spitak earthquake shattered the peace of Armenia 32 years ago. On the morning of December 7th, it became clear that the previous quakes were merely foreshocks to the main quake, which hit at 11:41 AM local time, measuring a magnitude of 6.8-7.0. “Despite the fact that all necessary measures are being taken … Mikhail Gorbachev believes that when a people is suffering, he has to be there and he himself has to lead the efforts.” The quake came on the heels of Gorbachev’s historic speech at the United Nations in which he called for an end to the Cold War and said that Soviet Troops would withdraw from Eastern Europe. Today in Armenia, Dec. 7 is a day of remembrance: Armenian Earthquake Memorial Day. Although the Soviet Union had said that reconstruction should take roughly two years, by 1989, it was clear that reconstruction was going to take at least nine more years. “On the evening of the 7th, the “Time” program announced a huge earthquake in Armenia… “Many of these psychological effects that were initially identified continued to persist in this population some 23 years later, affecting not only their mental health and quality of life, but in many cases their physical health as well,” said Haroutune K. Armenian, an epidemiologist at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in an article in the school’s magazine in 2015. 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. Rumbles from the quake were felt as far as Georgia and Azerbaijan. Military troops were also dispatched by the Soviets, but since their training was in post-nuclear blast recovery efforts rather than earthquake relief, they were of little practical assistance. However, 30 years later, thousands remain living in temporary houses or "domik" shanties created from old shipping containers. The next day, it became obvious that this small event was a foreshock. Two-thirds of the victims were under 18. The U.S. — and the world — responded. However, during this period, the skies were dangerously crowded with planes coming in to supply aid. Coupled with non-compatible medical equipment, the relief effort mostly just exposed the poor planning and flaws when it came to international humanitarian aid. 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. 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