With the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s devastating earthquake approaching, Glendale resident Vehanush Chilgevorkyan turned to the Internet for answers about what happened to her homeland. What she found was beyond her imagination: a photo of her father, Arsen Chilgevorkyan, helping with the relief effort.
Vehanush Chilgevorkyan has no recollection of living through the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck at 11:41 a.m. Dec. 7, 1988, in the Lori region of Soviet Armenia, destroying the city of Spitak and severely damaging the city of Gyumri, where she lived with her family.
The United States Geological Survey record indicates that at least 25,000 people were killed, 19,000 were injured, and 500,000 were left homeless. Despite Lori’s being a seismic region, the $16.2 billion in damage was mainly attributed to poor building construction, timing and freezing winter temperatures.