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Spitak, Armenia: Mass destruction and Soviet Era Response

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On December 8th 1988 a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Armenia and killed 25,000 people (as officially recorded – the total number is likely higher). The earthquake was the largest in the region in recent history and data shows that it destroyed 90% of Spitak, 50% of Leninakan and 20% of Kirovakan. Armenia lies along the Alpine-Himalayan belt, which is characterised by high seismicity. Still, earthquakes of this scale do not occur frequently, and the results were devastating. Response and support for the Armenia SSR came from both within and outside of the Soviet Union. This seminar will explore lessons learned following the 1988 Spitak earthquake in Armenia, and extends its support and recognition to those affected by and currently involved in response to the recent Turkey-Syria earthquake.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Disaster Research Network series.

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