Armenia Earthquake Memorial Day

Armenia Earthquake Memorial Day

December 7
On December 7, 1988, a severe earthquake struck in Armenia, causing catastrophic damage to the entire country's infrastructure and virtually destroying the cities of Spitak, Leninakan (now Gyumri), Kirovakan (now Vanadzor), and Stepanavan. Hundreds of small villages were completely obliterated by the quake and its aftershocks. At its epicenter, the earthquake was estimated to have the destructive force of 10 atomic bombs the size of those dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. More than 25,000 people were killed in the disaster, with another 140,000 injured and more than one million left homeless, in a disaster zone that measured about 30,000 square kilometers.
That day is now remembered each year as a national holiday, marked across the country with prayer, memorial services, and a moment of silence. In 2006, Armenian president Robert Kocharian and other government officials laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to the earthquake victims in front of St. Savior Church in Gyumri and attended an open-air religious service.
CONTACTS:
Armenian Embassy
2225 R St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-319-1976 or 202-319-2982
www.armeniaemb.org
Armenian Tourism Development Agency
374-154-2303 or 374-154-2306
www.armenianinfo.am