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Quake, Aftershock Damaged Thousands of Soviet Buildings

September 04, 1986|Associated Press

MOSCOW — About 4,900 apartment buildings and 45,000 houses were damaged in Moldavia by an earthquake and a strong aftershock this week, the government newspaper Izvestia said Wednesday.

The article was the most detailed report of damage from the quake, which rocked the Balkans and part of the Soviet Union early Sunday.

It was the first mention of an aftershock Tuesday morning in Moldavia. Izvestia said it registered 5 on the Soviet scale.

On the Soviet scale, a magnitude 5 aftershock is capable of "shaking buildings, cracking glass and plaster and waking sleepers," according to a Soviet encyclopedia.

West of Capital

Sunday's quake, centered in Romania about 120 miles west of the Moldavian capital of Kishinev, registered 8 on the Soviet scale, making it capable of heavy damage.

At its epicenter north of Bucharest, it registered 6.5 on the Richter scale

There was no update on human casualties. The official news agency Tass reported earlier that only one person was killed, while two were in critical condition. It said 528 people sought medical assistance.

Izvestia said that damage to the houses and apartment buildings ranged from cracks to demolition. The newspaper did not say how many of the 45,000 houses and 4,900 buildings were destroyed.

It said 440 elementary and secondary schools, 46 vocational schools and more than 460 kindergartens were damaged.

"In some areas, small damage of houses turned into serious destruction" when Tuesday morning's aftershock hit, the article said.

Pipelines, Cables Damaged

Izvestia said that 62 miles of water pipes, 32 miles of power cables, 75 miles of electric lines and 8 miles of gas lines were damaged. Damaged communications lines were further impaired by landslides, the article said.

Moldavia is a small but densely populated republic of just over 4 million people on the Soviet border with Romania.

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