Winter 2000 (8.4)
Earthquake Rocks Azerbaijan
November 25, at 10:10 p.m. a series of powerful earthquakes jolted
Baku, Sumgayit, Shamakhi and neighboring cities. The strongest
jolt, centered in the Caspian Sea 100 km (62 miles) northeast
of Baku, measured 6.3 on the Richter scale. Up to 120 aftershocks
rattled the area the following day.
The recent earthquake in Baku in November 2000 damaged many
of the mansions which were built during the Oil Baron period
at the turn of last century. Above: One such four-story building opposite
the Carpet Museum (previously Lenin Museum) totally collapsed
three weeks after the earthquake occurred. Photo: Arzu Aghayeva.
The death toll from the quake has reached more than 35; most
of the victims died from apparent heart attacks related to the
shock. A few were killed from falling rubble or natural gas explosions
brought on by earthquake damage. More than 500 people sustained
fractures or bruises while rushing to building exits. For many
people living on the top floors of apartment houses, they said
it was the most traumatic experience they had ever experienced
in their lives.
Above: One of the granite
statue of twins atop 26 Mammadaliyev Street overlooking the Pasaj
near Fountain Square shook lose and fell to the street below.
damage is estimated to be in the millions of dollars. President
Aliyev announced that more than 90 buildings and apartment blocks
have been seriously damaged and 12 schools have been closed.
According to the Ministry of Culture, there has been serious
damage done to a number of historical structures in Baku especially
those built during the Oil Boom at the end of the 19th century
- early 20th century. Damage has been identified at the German
Church (kirka) converted during the Soviet period to a concert
hall because of its pipe organ), the 15th century Shirvanshah
Palace in the Old City (Ichari Shahar), the Theater of Opera
and Ballet, the Taza Pir mosque, the Blue Mosque and the Palace
of Happiness (converted during the Soviet period to the Wedding
Palace, but former residence of Oil Baron Mukhtarov).
Left: Families have vacated the Hajinski Building
adjacent Maiden's Tower because of severe structural damage.
The striking architectural masterpiece next to the Maiden's Tower
which was once the residence of Oil Baron Hajinski has been seriously
damaged and the families have evacuated. No damage has been reported
to the offshore oil exploration infrastructure.
Since November, other earthquakes have struck north of Azerbaijan
in Dagestan and east in Turkmenistan.
For photos and
history of these architectural masterpieces mentioned above,
consult AI 6:4, Winter
an issue totally dedicated to Architecture.
(8.4) Winter 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
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AI 8.4 (Winter 2000)
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