Memorial Day in Turkmenistan
Every year on October 6, Memorial Day in Turkmenistan is observed for the countless Turkmen people who died in the terrible earthquake of 1948. According to UNESCO, this earthquake was one of the most destructive natural disasters of the 20th century.
In the early morning hours of October 6, 1948, a 9.0-10.0 magnitude earthquake struck, and in a matter of seconds hundreds of thousands of people found themselves trapped under the rubble of their own homes. The fact that the catastrophe struck late at night as people slept peacefully only compounded the casualties, which were never definitively determined. In a matter of moments, the flourishing capital of Ashgabat and its surroundings were nearly destroyed and tens of thousands of residents were killed.
On Memorial Day in Turkmenistan, the entire Turkmen population mourns. National flags are lowered, entertainment events are canceled and a wreath-laying ceremony is held at the Khalk Khakydasy (People's Memorial) Complex in Ashgabat.