26 July 2012

Skopje marks 49th anniversary of disastrous Earthquake

Delegations of parliament, government, president's cabinet, ARM, City of Skopje as well as officials of the diplomatic corps, political parties and Red Cross laid Thursday fresh flowers on the monument of the earthquake's victims in Butel cemetery marking the 49th anniversary Skopje earthquake.

The Red Cross of the City of Skopje will organise traditional humanitarian blood donation action in Army House.
Literary reading "Poetesses for this city" will be held and an exhibition "First journalist report from destroyed Skopje" will open Thursday evening in the Museum of the City of Skopje.

A broken clock marking the time of the earthquake, 5:17am, remains at the scene. The severe earthquake left some 80 percent of Skopje in ruins, with 1.070 dead persons and more than 200.000 homeless. Relief in money including medical, engineering, and building teams with supplies, came from 78 countries. From this day onward, Skopje was called the 'City of International Solidarity.'

In the days after the earthquake, 35 nations asked the United Nations General Assembly to put relief for Skopje on its agenda, and a campaign directed at national governments and international agencies began to identify resources to assist in recovery efforts. As the General Assembly stated in resolution 1882 of 14 October 1963, the spirit of international solidarity demonstrated in the aftermath of the Skopje earthquake transformed the reconstruction effort into a symbol of friendship and brotherhood among peoples.

Prior to 1900, the seismic history of Skopje, as part of the Vardar seismic zone, is practically reduced to a rather brief description of the earthquake catastrophes of Scupi in 518 A.D. and that of Skopje in 1555. The old Scupi was situated about 4-5 km northwest of the center of the present Skopje. As ground fissure extending over 45 km in length and up to 4 meters in width is reported for this earthquake, it seems that it is the strongest shock that has ever occurred in Macedonia. The earthquake of 1555 is said to have demolished a part of Skopje. Both earthquakes are estimated to be of strong intensity.

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