Sunday, 7 December 2008

20 years on, it's still earthquake zone

I remember...

*An estimated 7,000 families are still in the woeful temporary accommodation given to them in the weeks after the quake. For them, it has been 20 years of empty promises. (Reuters)


Onnik Krikorian said...

Anush emailed me to say she has posted something for today.

Twenty years after the earthquake the situation in the Fountain District in Gyumri, Armenia, has not changed much. On 7 December 1988, as a powerful earthquake struck the town of Gyumri and the nearby territory, tens of thousands of people were left homeless. Many found shelter in small houses that were given by the government or found by the people themselves. The government promised then that in a two years time the people will be given apartments. Now that 20 years have passed there are still roughly 4000 people waiting to get an apartment.

The Fountain District is one of the spots where about 300 households have been waiting for their home for 20 years.

The Fountain District - Gyumri

She also added that a few days ago she married Arik, the flautist in Bambir.

She's now based in Gyumri although I hope they'll both come down to Yerevan frequently.

Anyway, congratulations Anush and Arik!!!

artmika said...

Anush did a great job with her photostory of ordinary people affected by the earthquake.

...and thanks, Onnik, for sharing great news - big congrats to Anush & Arik!!

P.S. Anush puts numbers at "4000 people", quoting official figures. However, according to Reuters, it's "7000 families".

Onnik Krikorian said...

The confusion about numbers could just be because there's ALWAYS problems with data here. In this news item, for example, the figure of around about 7,000 people is given in one sentence and then around 7,000 families is another.

2008-10-20 11:28:00 *President of Armenia attends celebrities on occasion of Gyumri Town Day *

President of Armenia attends celebrities on occasion of Gyumri Town Day *ArmInfo.* President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan attended the celebrities on occasion of the Day of the town of Gyumri.

Alongside with the president, Vardan Ghukasyan, Gyumri Mayor, a member of the Republican Party of Armenia Council, Lida Nanyan, Governor of Shirak region and many parliamentarians attended the opening of the Monument for Vardan Mamikonyan in front of the new building of Gyumri Municipality Saturday. The president was also present at the ceremony of laying the foundation of 400 new flats that will be built till 2010 in the district Ani in Gyumri.

Deputy Minister of Urban Development Narek Sargsyan told media the program of disaster area restoration can be divided into three key parts. The first is the necessity of housing provision to some 7000 people that have become homeless after Spitak earthquake. The president instructed settling the problem of homeless within the coming 2-3 years. The second is the constantly implemented programs on restoration and development of general education schools, sport schools and health facilities. The third part is aimed at development of the regional center of Gyumri, particularly, the historical area Kobayr.

For his part, Urban Development Minister Vardan Vardanyan congratulated the residents of Gyumri and underlined that housing conditions of 60,000 homeless families have been improved since the independence of Armenia due to the funds of the state budget, Lincy Foundaton and Hayastan All Armenian Fund. He said that housing problems of 6985 families will be settled till 2013. The minister
said a contract was made with Glendale Hills Company for construction in the districts Ani and Mush till 2010. The state budget will allocate 40 billion drams for construction in the town of Gyumri. In total, the state budget approves 80-82 billion drams for restoration of disaster area, Vardan Vardanyan said.

Think this came from ArmInfo, but anyway, 4,000 people, 7,000 people, or 7,000 families... let's face facts. Twenty years later there shouldn't be ANY.

Ani said...

Armenia Liberty reiterates the 7,000 families figure:
The reconstruction gained fresh momentum in the early 2000s when thousands of new houses and apartments were built in the economically depressed area with the financial assistance of U.S.-Armenian billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. Nonetheless, as many as 7,000 families in the quake-hit Shirak and Lori regions still lack permanent housing, huddling in metal and wooden shacks devoid of basic amenities.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Hetq says officially there are 4,284 people homeless in Gyumri, but says the real figure is likely to be 8,000.

Again, another different figure because 8,000 people is unlikely to represent 7,000 families.