Ashgabat Earthquake of 1948
The earthquake struck at 2:17 in the morning on 6 October 1948.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located near the small village Gara-Gaudan, 25 kilometers southwest of Ashgabat. The earthquake caused extreme damage in Ashgabat and nearby villages, where almost all brick buildings collapsed, concrete structures were heavily damaged, and freight trains were derailed. Damage and casualties occurred in Darreh Gaz, Iran. Surface rupture was observed northwest and southeast of Ashgabat. Media sources vary on the number of the casualties from 10,000 to 176,000. A news release on 9 December 1988 advised that the correct death toll was 110,000, equivalent to almost 10% of the Turkmen SSR's population at the time. A 2007 report by the State News Agency of Turkmenistan gives a total number of up to 176,000.
In a matter of minutes, an October earthquake measuring 7.3 turned the city of Ashgabat into a pile of rubble. A thousand Soviet doctors, nurses and other medical personnel flooded in from Moscow and other cities to aid sufferers in what is now Turkmenistan. Despite their efforts, 110,000 people perished.
Extreme damage in Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) and nearby villages, where almost all brick buildings collapsed, concrete structures were heavily damaged and freight trains were derailed. Damage and casualties also occurred in the Darreh Gaz area, Iran. Surface rupture was observed both northwest and southeast of Ashgabat. Many sources list the casualty total at 10,000, but a news release on 9 Dec 1988 advised that the correct death toll was 110,000.