• USD 11095.31
  • RUB 173.84
  • EUR 10772.44

Turkmenistan lies in a seismically dangerous zone. On the night of October 6, 1948, one of the most destructive earthquakes of the 20th century hit Ashgabat. Close to the city, cracks in the ground half a meter wide appeared.

The sleeping city was struck by tremors of 9-10 magnitude, which destroyed almost all buildings and killed tens of thousands of people in a few seconds.

Soviet military experts said that the tremors were equivalent to the detonation of hundreds of nuclear warheads.

The earth tremors were repeated, at times as strong as 4 or 5. On October 6 and 7, frost broke out. On October 9, the sun rose to 35-37 degrees. A dust storm was raging. Ashgabat was plunged into darkness.

Studies show that the Balkhan-Caspian region and the Kopetdag mountain system separating Turkmenistan and Iran are highly seismic, as evidenced, in particular, by devastating earthquakes: Uzun-Adinsk (Krasnovodsk) 1895, Germab 1929, Kazandzhik 1946, Ashgabat 1948, Balkhan 2000.

The UN Development Programme recently launched a project called "Strengthening the National Potential of Turkmenistan for Seismic Risk Assessment, Prevention and Response to Potential Earthquakes".

The project's lead specialist, Djapar Karayev, told the official website about the importance of an integrated approach to seismic risk assessment in Turkmenistan.

Karayev noted that earthquakes occur unexpectedly and constantly, and the scale of the disaster depends on the strength of buildings.

"It’s not earthquakes that kill people, but buildings".

Another critical area of seismic risk reduction is the preparedness of the population and the readiness of authorities and specialized structures.

Residents of earthquake-prone areas, at least, should know that the destruction of a building or other structure during an earthquake usually does not occur immediately but within tens of seconds, necessary for the accumulation of damage, which leads to the subsequent destruction of the object.

"Catastrophic collapse of structures begins after exposure to surface waves that arrive later transverse. These tens of seconds must be used to escape from death."

Credits: Eziz Boyarov, Ashgabat

Top headlines
OSCE assists Turkmenistan in border management, environment and women’s empowerment - Helga Schmid
 CIS Secretary General, Sergei Lebedev urges to unite against “external aggression”
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to attend 'European Union - Central Asia' summit in Kyrgyzstan