“Armenpress”.- The Spitak earthquake shattered the peace of Armenia 29 years ago. A 10 magnitude near the epicenter devastating earthquake took place in 40% of the territory of Armenia at 11:41 (local time), December 7, 1988. Spitak, Leninakan, Kirovakan, Stepanavan towns, over hundreds of villages and settlements of Spitak, Akhuryan, Gugark, Aragats, Kalinino, Stepanavan were fully or partially demolished during a few seconds.
More than 25 thousand people died, 514 remained homeless. 17 of the housing resources broke down (over 8 million square meters of living area). 230 industrial objects with 82 thousand workplaces were ruined due to the quake. The economic damage of Armenia amounted to 13 billion RUB.
The commission headed by Nikolai Ryzhkov, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, arrived in Armenia on the next day of the earthquake. They performed a great job with care and many efforts to assist the people and eliminate the consequences of the tragedy. The Armenian people received the aid with gratitude, awarding Ryzhkov with decoration of the National Hero of Armenia on December 6, 2008. More than 113 countries and 7 international organizations aided Armenia. Hundreds of rescuers and doctors arrived in the Republic of Armenia.
All the republics of the USSR started to transport medication, medical equipment, construction equipment, tents, food etc. to Armenia.
The Armenians of the Diaspora united from the first hours of the earthquake to provide assistance to their compatriots, creating many organizations for that aim. Many of them; doctors, psychologists, constructors, architects stayed in Armenia to personally participate in rescue and restoration works.
Various states continued providing assistance to Armenia in the coming years as well. The Italians and Austrians built one residential district in Spitak, the Norwegians constructed a modern hospital, and the British built a school and etc.
However, there are still a lot of works to do. Nearly 540 families still wait for the solution of the housing problem. Most of these families live in Lori province, some in Shirak and Aragatsotn provinces. Under the 2018 budget it is expected to provide half a billion drams for solving the housing issue of nearly 50 families.