The territory of Kyrgyzstan is one of the most seismically active
regions on the planet where there are up to 1,500 tremors a year of varying
strength. High seismic activity is due to tectonic processes and complex
geological and tectonic setting.
In the historical memory of the people, first information about the catastrophic
disaster are the days when in the valley of Chon-Kemin river an ancient city
was completely destroyed (the name of which is not known). More specific data
refers to the end of the XVIII century (in 1770 "a lake was filled up" near
Belovodsk) and in the beginning of the next century (in 1807 in Almaty, there
was a "terrible accident, which echoed all the way into Kyrgyzstan).
Detailed systematic information on earthquakes begins with a description
of the Belovodsk disaster in 1885 (magnitude 9-10 ). The earthquake completely
destroyed Belovodsk and Kara-Balta villages; on the slopes of the Kyrgyz ridge
were rock falls, landslides, and debris, and a crack of 20 km long and 2
m wide developed in the foothills.
In 1911, in the North Tenir-Too there was a great seismic disaster (Kemin
earthquake measuring magnitude 10-11), which killed more than 1,500 people.
The length of large-scale violations of the earth's surface (cracks, collapses,
landslides, etc.) reached 250 km.
In June 1938, there was an earthquake with the strength of aftershocks up
to magnitude 8 with an epicentre near Jel-Arik station (eastern extremity
of the Chu basin). The Chatkal earthquake in 1946 measuring 9-10 seized a
huge area. Settlements located in the epi-central area were turned into rubble
(stretching up to 100 km long, 15-20 km wide); in the valleys and foothill
areas significant falls and breakdowns occurred. Large cracks opened up,
where part of Sary-Chelek lake was blocked by rubble.
In 1970, in the eastern part of the Issyk-Kul basin, Sarykamysh earthquake
occurred measuring magnitude 8-9 . By the size of the hearth and the released
energy, it is the largest earthquake on the northern slopes of Teskey Ala-Too
ridge. The zone of maximum shock (20x10 km). There was massive avalanches,
landslides and rock falls observed in the mountains.
In 1978, Tyup earthquake occurred with its intensity in the epicentre reaching
8-9. More than 50 settlements of Tyup area were damaged and destroyed.
In 1977, on the territory of Batken district of Osh region (south-eastern
part of the Fergana Valley) was an earthquake of magnitude 8-9, which was
felt by a large part of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as
in the south-western regions of Kazakhstan.
Earthquake (8-9) occurred in the south-western part of the Alay basin, which
is marked as Daroot-Korgon.
In May 1992, in the south of Kyrgyzstan a Kochkor-Ata earthquake occurred
(on the scale of 7-8). The epi-central area extended up to 40 km in length
and 5-7 km in width.
One of the strongest earthquakes in recent years was Suusamyr (August 1992),
which covered the territory from the Kazakh steppes to the North Pamir in
the south. The zone of maximum shock covered the southern and northern slopes
of Suusamyr ridge, Suusamyr, Aramzin, Ketmen-Teben and Talas basins. All settlements
within its proximity were destroyed by 60-80%. Avalanches and landslides
in the mountains led to the loss of life and destruction of numerous animals.
In January 1997, in the mountains of Jaman-Davan of Naryn region, a magnitude
7-7.5 earthquake was registered, which was felt throughout the territory of
northern Tenir-Too. Top