Earthquake Memorial Day in Turkmenistan in 2024

Earthquake Memorial Day in Turkmenistan in 2024
  How long until Earthquake Memorial Day?
Earthquake Memorial Day
  Dates of Earthquake Memorial Day in Turkmenistan
2025 Turkmenistan Mon, Oct 6 National Holiday
2024 Turkmenistan Sun, Oct 6 National Holiday
2023 Turkmenistan Fri, Oct 6 National Holiday
2022 Turkmenistan Thu, Oct 6 National Holiday
2021 Turkmenistan Wed, Oct 6 National Holiday

A day of remembrance to the victims of the massive and deadly earthquake that took place on this day in 1948.

When is Earthquake Memorial Day?

Earthquake Memorial Day is a national holiday in Turkmenistan observed on October 6th each year.

This holiday is a memorial day to the victims of the massive and deadly earthquake that took place on this day in 1948.

History of Earthquake Memorial Day

At 1:12am on October 6th 1948 an earthquake struck Turkmenistan. The earthquake was recorded as having a magnitude of 7.3 and the epicentre was just south of the capital, Ashgabat.

Within a matter of minutes, Ashgabat and about 40 surrounding villages were reduced to rubble, with almost all brick buildings collapsing and concrete structures heavily damaged. 

Details of the damage were censored by the Turkmen government, so estimates of casualties vary. At the time, deaths were estimated at 10,000. After independence from Soviet rule, it was revealed that the number was closer to 110,00, which was 10% of the population of the country at the time.

That's not to say that the Soviets didn't try to respond. A thousand doctors and medical employees immediately arrived in Ashgabat from all parts of the former Soviet Union to assist the survivors and the surrounding Soviet states offered help in whatever way they could.

On Earthquake Memorial Day in 2009, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said about 176,000 people suffered due to the Earthquake.

"One of the most powerful earthquakes in the world occurred in Ashgabat and its surroundings on October 6th 1948, at 1:12... [the] Natural disaster was a severe test for Turkmen people and razed to the ground the city with 198,000 people for 15-20 seconds," Berdymukhamedov said.

In 2002, the government of Turkmenistan commemorated the devastating event by issuing special coins featuring images of President Suparmurat Niyazov and his family members.  The earthquake killed Niyazov's mother and the rest of his family, leaving him an orphan.

The National day of memorial declared in Turkmenistan as non-working was included in the list of days celebrated in the country in memory of victims of Ashgabat's earthquake of 1948.

State flags are lowered all over the country, as well as in Turkmen offices abroad. Funeral rites and services are held in mosques and churches across the country. 

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