A new block of apartments in Gyumri (Azatutyun photo)

February 13 Earthquake in Armenia Strongest after 1988, Followed by 165 Aftershocks

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YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia/Azatutyun/news.am) — The earthquake registered in Armenia on February 13 was the strongest after the 1988 Spitak earthquake, Head of the Regional Survey for Seismic Protection Sos Margaryan told a press conference.

He said the 5.2 magnitude quake was followed by 165 aftershocks, the strongest of which had a magnitude of 3.

According to Margaryan, aftershocks are typical of such earthquakes. He reminded that in August 2021, an earthquake at the same epicenter was followed by 69 aftershocks within a day, with the number reaching 223 on the 40th day.

According to the Armenian seismic protection agency, the epicenter of the earthquake was at a section of the Armenian-Georgian border about 40 kilometers north of Gyumri. Tremors were felt in Yerevan and six of Armenia ten provinces as well as Tbilisi and southern Georgia.

The quake did not kill or injure anyone. The Armenian Ministry of Emergencies reported minor damage caused to buildings in Yerevan, Gyumri and three other towns.

Many Gyumri residents rushed out of their homes immediately after the quake, which knocked out power in one of the city districts. Power was restored about 90 minutes later.

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“Residents can return to their homes,” the Ministry of Emergencies said in a late-night statement. It urged them not to “succumb to panic,” saying that they should only expect weaker aftershocks.

The ministry’s seismic protection service recorded 165 aftershocks by Monday morning.

“It’s probably the strongest since the Spitak earthquake,” Margarian said, referring to 1988 calamity that killed more than 25,000 people and devastated much of northwestern Armenia, including Gyumri.

A second earthquake in nearby Georgia took place a few hours after the Armenian one. According to the data of the Institute of Earth Sciences and the National Center for Seismic Monitoring, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake occurred near the village of Sameba in Georgia’s Armenian-populated Javakhk region, Georgian websites report. Afterwards, six more tremors with a 3.1 magnitude were registered.

The head of Ninotsminda-based Gorelovka village Mnatsakan Babajanyan told NEWS.am: “The epicenter was in our community. There is no destruction but many buildings have cracks. The damage is minimal. And there is no damage in Ninotsminda district.”

According to Babajanyan, 85% of village community members are Armenians, whereas 90% of Ninotsminda residents are Armenians.

Topics: Earthquake
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