30 years ago, on December 7, 1988, a devastating earthquake almost completely destroyed the Armenian cities of Spitak, Gyumri (Leninakan) and hundreds of villages in the northwest of the republic. No less than 25,000 dead, half a million homeless.
The strength of the aftershocks at the epicenter exceeded 10 points. In Spitak there was not a single surviving house – only piles of red tufa, broken bricks and fragments of cement. Leninakan was destroyed by 80 percent. At various levels, more than 300 locations have suffered.
The Armenian earthquake occurred at the dawn of perestroika, one of whose signs was advertising. Therefore, the country immediately learned the terrible events and in detail.
But quickly organizing the necessary assistance failed. The Ministry of Emergency Situations did not yet exist – this structure was created two years later, and the Civil Defense Services (GO) were completely unprepared for such a large disaster, without having the equipment, specialists and experience needed.
Then the entire Soviet Union came to the aid of the Armenian people. Thousands of volunteers have come to the republic. And not only from the Soviet Union, but also from Europe, from the United States, from Latin America, from Israel … Professional rescuers and volunteers from 110 countries of the world have worked on the ruins of the cities Armenian.
One of these volunteers was a student from Moscow, Andrei Dyachenko. After seeing one of the first reports from Armenia, he firmly decided to go to the disaster area. Lenta.ru publishes his memories of those days in a gallery dedicated to the terrible events of 30 years ago.