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> Earthquakes in Central Asia, Today's earthquake
ahamill
post Aug 22 2008, 05:28 AM
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I forgot to mention before: Uzbekistan is earthquake-prone! It must have been after 2pm here in Tashkent when a very very loud (like an explosion) earthquake shook the city for about 5 seconds. Pretty quick! But it was not gentle; it felt like a big big train speeding through the center of the building I was in, on the 9th floor.

One of my visiting colleagues reported just now that the InterContinental Hotel lobby now sports a big compression fracture along the length of one side of the lobby wall, and one of the elevators was knocked off its track. I can't wait to get over there and snap some photos!

These are pretty common here, apparently. A colleague who's been here since 2005 has experienced 3 or 4. Of course, the quake in 1967 destroyed Tashkent utterly so we are hoping not to have a repeat of that.

A much older colleague who was living in Moscow at the time of the '67 quake remembers it vividly. Leonid Breshnev, president at the time, came down to survey the damage and made it a cause celebre - the whole Soviet Union was mobilized to rebuild Tashkent, and my colleage says he remembers that it was quite inspiring. It was done in a very very short period of time. He noted, ruefully, that he's not sure it'd happen so fast if we had another epidsode like that now...

Thank you for reading this!


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Sleepless in Tashkent
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starlagurl
post Aug 25 2008, 10:47 AM
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Wow, that's incredible. Was anyone hurt?

Yeah, take some pictures and put it up in your blog, I'm interested in seeing them.


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ahamill
post Sep 4 2008, 01:15 AM
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This tremor was exciting, for sure - even if it was short.

Here is an impressive story: within about 30 minutes of the earthquake, the InterContinental Hotel had set up huge (fancy) blinds to hide the length of the compression fracture across the wall. I peeked back there to see what was going on, and workers were busy with trowels and picks pulling out the chunks and re-plastering it. By that evening, all that was left is a faint line of irregular surface along the wall. VERY impressive.

InterContinental Hotel hosted Russian Prime Minister V Putin for Monday and Tuesday this week and it was quite an exercise. Residents were shifted around in order to keep Putin's retinue (military and civilian) isolated on just a few floors, and I think they left a floor below them empty. Security was incredible - on Tuesday, the whole drive was filled with formation of police and military, and of course the spotters on the roof tops could be seen.

In the end, it seems that his entourage was housed at InterCon while he actually was housed at the President's house (that's what we're told anyway), but it's all very very hush hush. The entire business center (including my office) was closed for Independence Day on Sept 1, and closed again for Putin's security on Tuesday Sept 2nd. For the whole office building, it was a surprise day off!


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