Historic Earthquakes

Spitak, Armenia
1988 December 07 07:41 UTC (11:41 a.m. local time)
Magnitude 6.8

1988 Spitak, Armenia earthquake
Partial destruction of a five-story stone masonry bearing-wall building in Spitak.
Photo: C.J. Langer, U.S. Geological Survey.

Two events about 3 seconds apart. At least 25,000 people killed, 19,000 injured and 500,000 homeless in the Leninakan-Spitak-Kirovakan area of northern Armenia, USSR. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected and 58 of them were completely destroyed. Damage totaled 16.2 billion U.S. dollars. Damage (X) at Spitak and (IX) at Leninakan, Kirovakan and Stepanavan. Surface faulting 10 km in length and with a maximum throw of 1.5 m occurred. Power transmission lines were severely damaged and landslides buried railroad tracks in the epicentral area. Damage occurred in the Kelbadzhar area, Azerbaijan, USSR. Felt (VII) at Tabatskuri and Borzhomi; (VI) at Bogdanovka, Tbilisi and Yerevan; (V) at Goris; (IV) at Makhachkala and Groznyy; (III) at Sheki and Shemakha, USSR. Four people killed and damage in the Tuzluca-Kagizman-Kars area, Turkey. Felt in the Tabriz-Orumiyeh area, Iran.