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ArmeniaPortraits of Survival and Hope$
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Donald Miller

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234925

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234925.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Massive Destruction

Massive Destruction

The 1988 Earthquake

(p.12) (p.13) 1 Massive Destruction

Donald E. Miller

Lorna Touryan Miller

University of California Press

On December 7, 1988, at 11:41 A.M, a devastating earthquake, registering 6.9 on the Richter scale, struck northwestern Armenia. It lasted for forty seconds and was followed by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock and swarms of smaller quakes four minutes later. Four cities and fifty-eight villages were affected. The most affected city was Spitak, where over 5,000 buildings were destroyed or flattened. Thousands were injured, 500,000 were left homeless, and the earthquakes left 100,000 people dead. The direct economic loss of Armenia was estimated $14.2 billion, and 40 percent of its industrial capacity was destroyed, affecting the economic livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. After the impact of the earthquake, rescuers arrived from Yerevan and several Soviet republics; and, for the first time since 1923, the Soviet Union invited help from international relief organizations.

Keywords:   earthquake, Spitak, Armenia, Soviet Union, industrial capacity, economic livelihood

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