USSR - Tajikistan: Earthquake - Jan 1989

Past disaster

Disaster description

An earthquake of magnitude 7 of the 12-point Soviet scale (Richetr magnitude 5.9) occurred in the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan on Monday, 23 January 1989, at 02:02 hours A.M local time (23:02 GMT). The epicenter was located in the village of Sharor on the Soviet-Afghan border, some 50km southwest of the republic’s capital Dushanbe. While the earthquake affected mainly mud houses, the greatest material damage and human loss seem to have been caused by a subsequent 2km long landslide. (UN DHA, 23 January 1989)

The United Nations representative in Moscow reported that the villages of Sharora, Okulibolo and Okulipoyen were destroyed by the mud landslide. Roads and communication lines were disrupted and thousands of heads of livestock were buried in the mud. (UN DHA, 24 January 1989)

The total number of dead reached 274 people, including 100 children. In Sharora, 207 were reported dead, and in Okulibolo 67. The population in Okulipoen had time to escape. (UN DHA, 27 January 1989)

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