Day of Commemoration and National Mourning in Turkmenistan Date in the current year: October 6, 2024

Day of Commemoration and National Mourning in Turkmenistan The Day of Commemoration and National Mourning is annually observed in Turkmenistan on October 6. This is a public holiday commemorating the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake that struck and nearly destroyed Turkmenistan's largest city.

The earthquake struck Turkmenistan late at night on October 6, 1948. The epicenter of the earthquake with a surface wave magnitude of 7.3 was located 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Ashgabat. Almost all brick buildings in Ashgabat and nearby villages collapsed, and concrete buildings were severely damaged. The city infrastructure suffered heavy damage as well. According to different estimates, the number of causalities varied from 10,000 to 110,000. One of the victims was Gurbansoltan Eje, the mother of the future Turkmen leader Saparmurat Niyazov.

This earthquake was the deadliest in the history of Turkmenistan; about 10% of the population of Turkmenistan died in one day. The people of Turkmenistan don't forget the earthquake, which is commemorated with an annual ceremony held in Ashgabat and attended by the President of Turkmenistan and local authorities. The national flag flies half-mast, and all public traffic is stopped on this day.

In addition to the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake, the Day of Commemoration and National Mourning commemorates the 1881 attack on the Geok Tepe fortress, honoring the memory of the defenders and civilians who were killed in the attack.

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