Aftermath of Spitak earthquake, December 1988. Photo:

08 December 2017, 06:00

More than 500 families affected by Spitak earthquake still have no housing

The Armenian government has completed a programme to provide housing for city families affected by the earthquake of 1988. This was told to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent by Tanya Arzumanyan, a member of the Urban Development Committee.

However, there are other 542 families who live in rural areas, and they are not provided with housing. According to Tanya Arzumanyan, it is planned to provide housing to those families by 2020.

The earthquake, which is referred to as the "Spitak earthquake", took place in Armenia on December 7, 1988. The highest seismic activity was registered near the village of Nalband, which had gone completely underground. Besides, the disaster also severely damaged 20 cities and more than 340 villages. The town of Spitak was destroyed completely, and Gyumri, Stepanavan, and Vanadzor partially. 25,000 people fell victim to the tragedy, and 500,000 local residents lost their homes.

Meanwhile, about 4000 families still live in the disaster area in temporary sheds, Tanya Arzumanyan said.

"They live in small houses for various reasons. They cannot be considered to be victims of the earthquake and they are not eligible for the state housing programme," Tanya Arzumanyan said.

Today, according to the "Gyumri without temporary sheds" Foundation, there are 2983 temporary sheds in the city, and people live in 2399 of them.

"Only in the one city of Gyumri, there are 2400 temporary sheds in which people live, and this is a fact," Vardevan Grigoryan, an MP from the "Tsarukyan" bloc, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. And he continued: "All of them are Armenian citizens, whom the government is obliged to think of. The government is obliged to create all conditions for their normal life. The way people live on the outskirts of Gyumri, in those temporary sheds, cannot be described in words: there are thousands of nice children, ignored by the government," the MP said.

Mane Tandilyan, an MP from the "Elk" bloc, believes not only Gyumri, but also many other residential settlements affected by the earthquake continue to be a disaster zone.

The MP believes the situation continues to be difficult because of the state's fault.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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