YEREVAN, July 7. / ARKA /. Armenia’s Seismic Protection Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations has denied today media reports about an imminent strong earthquake, describing them as ‘inconsistent with the truth’ in a bid to quell fears following two subsequent earthquakes reported by the Ministry of Emergency Situations on June 6 and 7 near the third largest town of Vanadzor, the administrative capital of northern province of Lori that had been affected strongly by an earthquake in 1988.
The first 3-4 point earthquake on Richter scale was registered on July 6 at 11.13 am some 7 kilometers south of Vanadzor. The second 5-point earthquake was registered 13 kilometers southwest of the city. Both earthquakes’ hypocenter was at the depth of 10 km. Tremors were felt in Lori and Aragatsotn regions. The second earthquake was followed by four aftershocks of 0.8-1.2 magnitude.
The Seismic Protection Service said the earthquakes that were felt stronger in Vanadzor and Spitak, caused panic among the local population. In this context, it declined allegations that it had issued a warning about an expected strong earthquake.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said experts believe that there is no reason to worry about the recurrence of an earthquake that razed parts of northern Armenia to ground in 1988 December.
It said 25 years have passed after the devastating 1988 earthquake, but seismologists believe that the activity in the earthquake zone has not yet gone out, and small earthquakes are typical of aftershock sequences. “Actually, aftershocks continue and will still continue,” it said.
"Once again, we want to note that according to Seismic Protection Service’s data, there have been no anomalies detected to support rumors about a strong earthquake and there is therefore no need to panic. Citizens should follow only official information provided by the service and not to believe rumors," the ministry said.
Spitak and Leninakan (now Gyumri), located in the north of Armenia, were almost totally destroyed by an earthquake 25 years ago, on December 7, 1988. More than one hundred villages were destroyed and a few towns in part. The earthquake killed 25,000 people, disabled another 140,000 and left half a million homeless. -0-