Armenian Earthquake

Essay by audia628University, Bachelor's March 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

On December 7, 1988 the horrible forces of nature took away the lives of thousands of Armenians as well as the villages and cities that were destroyed. The Northern regions of Armenia in a few seconds were turned into ruins. The 1998 Spitak, Armenia earthquake will never be forgotten for the damages and catastrophe it has caused. It struck at 11:41 A.M. local time when children were at school and most people at work. With most of Armenia covered in high-rise buildings the consequences have been devastating. At least 25,000 people killed, 19,000 injured and 500,000 homeless in the northern Armenia (Gazetov B, Personal Communication, 1989). Direct economic loss was estimated at $14.2 billion, and 40 percent of Armenia's industrial capacity was destroyed, affecting the economic livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected and 58 of them were completely destroyed. (

Scientists have formulated several theories to explain the causes of earthquakes. The theory of plate tectonics seems to explain much of the earthquake activity the world experiences, as plates can collide, spread, or slide into each other causing a quake. The damage done by the Armenian earthquake was much greater than that done by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, although the magnitudes were almost the same ( Nearly 70% of buildings were destroyed (Abrams, 1989) and a maximum intensity of possible destruction, Mercalli-measured intensity was XI, was observed in the town of Spitak, near the quake epicenter. Power transmission lines were severely damaged and landslides buried railroad tracks in the epicenter area. It measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and affected an area 80 kilometers in diameter. The earthquake lasted forty seconds and was followed four minutes later by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock and swarms of smaller quakes, some...