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Ashgabat Earthquake (1948)

  • By: Kristin Stevens
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) is the capital of Turkmenistan, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time of the incident. Ashgabat is situated near the border with Iran.

On October 5, 1948, an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale destroyed much of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Reports indicate that up to 110,000 people were killed, making it one of the 10 deadliest recorded earthquakes. The earthquake occurred at night, which may have increased the death toll, with more people indoors at the time. The damage in Ashgabat was catastrophic. The city was virtually leveled, and most brick buildings collapsed completely. Severe damage was incurred on other concrete structures, railways, and utilities. The Darreh Gaz area of neighboring Iran was also damaged and suffered casualties. Ruptures in the ...

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