YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — On December 7, Armenia marked the 32nd anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit the northwestern regions of the country.
On that day in 1988, at 11:41 a.m. local time, northwestern Armenia was hit by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, followed by a magnitude 5.8 aftershock four minutes later. In the epicenter — the village of Nalband — the tremors were reported to measure 10 on the Richter scale.
The earthquake leveled the cities of Spitak and Gyumri, as well as about 60 villages, leaving al least 25,000 people dead, 100,000 wounded and 500,000 homeless.
All material, financial and labor opportunities of the USSR were mobilized for reconstruction work, as 45,000 builders from all the member states arrived to help reconstruct the areas destroyed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the restoration program was suspended.
A lot of families still live in impoverished conditions, spending cold winters in dilapidated buildings or metal containers.