2021 February 14

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Daily news wrap-up

Feb/14/2021: (1) Earthquake in Armenia. No major infrastructure damage. What to do in the event of a quake? (2) Seismic-resistant schools are being built (3) Army commander charged w/abandoning 72 soldiers (4) Cement industry, protectionist laws, Iranian imports (5) Search operations (6) more...
by ar_david_hh


Your 8-minute Weekend report in 1840 words.

army division commander charged with felony negligence & abandoning 72 soldiers who were later ambushed

Investigative Committee: the former commander of a rifle division failed to meet and accompany 72 soldiers in the Hadrut regions and failed to give them the necessary instructions. As a result, the soldiers' vehicle was ambushed. Several soldiers died, while the others are missing.

The army headquarters had instructed the commander to meet a group of soldiers on October 11th in an area known as "Hadrut's 9-kilometer region". He was supposed to accept them under his command. However, he never went to meet the soldiers and did not coordinate their mission.

As a result, the soldiers' vehicle ended up in Hadrut's Aygestan village area, where the enemy diversionary groups ambushed and opened fire at them.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/206619

Tags: #war #WarFelony #commander

4.9M quake hit Armenia on Saturday

At 3:29 PM, a 4.9M (6-7 points) quake hit 8km south-east of capital Yerevan. Many residents in Yerevan and elsewhere ran to the streets, and spent hours there, fearing aftershocks.

Some buildings in Yerevan's oldest Kond district sustained damage; stones fell off. Cracks were formed in buildings in Artashat city.

Pashinyan: preliminary data indicates no widespread injuries. A building was damaged in the Erebuni district with a resident receiving a light injury. //

Everyone rushed to call their friends and relatives, causing cell-towers to overload and disconnect.

There were 20 aftershocks. The Emergency Ministry advised the population to spend some time outdoors out of precaution. The Ministry received calls about structural damage on two streets in Yerevan. The seismic activity gradually reduced.

The Metro and the Metsamor nuclear plant were not affected. The nuclear plant's emergency system did not activate because the quake was 2x weaker than the threshold that activates it.

Within 4 hours, there were a total of 46 aftershocks. 3,000 emergency calls were made. 3 residents received light injuries during actions caused by panic. By the end of the day, 25 people received various medical services.

The quake caused some rocks to slide down from Garni gorge: https://youtu.be/LjSy-oOPB0M

Tiles fell off at the entrance of an underground passage: https://youtu.be/Inath3l9J6o

Saturday night: another quake

At 1:47 AM another 2.4M quake struck, 13 km south-west from Yerevan.

what to do in the event of quake?

Emergency Ministry: remember that even during a devastating earthquake, the buildings do not collapse instantly. The 1988 quake showed that 10-story buildings began collapsing 10-12 seconds later. This time can be used to save your lives.

Children, the elderly, and the sick need your help. By taking care of them, you won't feel panicked about your life and your actions will be more level-headed. If you're trapped, remember that rescuers will be looking for you.

If you're located on the 1-2 floors of a high-rise building, try to exit the building. If you're on the 3rd or higher floor, do not run as the stairways will be blocked by other residents; stairways usually collapse the first. Elevators could be unavailable. You can stand underneath main columns and doorways while holding a chair/bag above your head. You can crawl underneath a bed or a table.

Stay away from windows and external walls. They collapse easily. Stay away from large appliances and furniture that can fall down.

Exit the building after the quake is finished. Look out for electric lines and falling objects.

You can suffocate from the dust. Cover your nose with your clothes.

If you're driving, you'll have the impression that the tire fell off. Slow down and steer right. Don't park on bridges or near buildings. Do not drive to the emergency scene. You could block an emergency vehicle.

Unlike an airstrike, the Metro won't protect you from an earthquake. A 5-point quake will cause a lighting outage, triggering the emergency lights. Moving to an exit can be dangerous and can cause panic. Follow the instructions over the loudspeakers.

If you wake up to a quake, do not use electric appliances and do not light a fire. There could be a gas leak.

Don't waste time putting on the clothes. Grab the bag with the most important items and follow the instructions above.

if you prefer video

https://youtu.be/AnkT-QY_Qmw?t=6

earthquake rumors

The Emergency Ministry denied social media rumors that it was predicted that another quake would strike soon.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043342.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043343.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043343.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043346.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043347.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043350.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043352.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043351.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043353.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043356.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043357.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043361.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043364.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043365.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043377.html

the day before the earthquake

46 schools are currently being rebuilt with seismic resistance technology, to serve over 20,000 students. The $107M program is co-funded by the government and the Asian Development Bank.

Video showing Yerevan School N135 after rebuilding:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3778066012314827

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/206577

search operations

Search crews discovered the bodies of 4 soldiers in the Qubatlu region. DNA analysis will be done for identification. There have been 1378 post-war discoveries

The Armenian crews also discovered 7 Azeri bodies near Shushi and transferred them.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043373.html , https://factor.am/338367.html

rumors & rebuttals: church leader's car

The church denied media rumors claiming that Catholicos Garegin B and others had a car accident while driving on the Yerevan-Ejmiatsin highway, and had to be transported to a hospital.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043321.html

update: the story of Khndozresk shepherd who got his cattle back from Azeris

A few days ago a story was shared about a shepherd in a bordering village losing >170 small cattle after getting close to a border; Azeris took them until Armenian troops negotiated for the cattle's return.

The story was updated by Khndzoresk municipality: 3 animals were taken by Azeris. All 3 were returned after Armenian and Russian troops held negotiations.

The authorities have asked bordering villages to follow the border guards' instructions about safety to avoid similar incidents.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043340.html

Armenia's cement production / protectionalist law / border blockade / Iranian cement

BHK leader Gagik Tsarukyan's Ararat-Cement factory is Armenia's largest cement producer. To save them from bankruptcy, the government enacted protectionist policies in 2019 to raise tariffs on imported Iranian cement. The government believes that Armenia's cement industry is a strategically important industry.

2019: 310,000 tons of import (179 importers)

2020: 231,000 tons (155 importers)

Recently, there has been a talk about temporarily banning cement imports. Armenia's largest producer is Tsarukyan's "AraratCement", with the second one being "Hrazdan Cement".

Their competitor is Hayk Ivanyan, whose "Angor-Shin" company imports cement from Iran. "Iranian cement is cheaper and is of higher quality. If they ban imports to promote local production, I have no complaint, especially if it helps to get the country out of this situation. But they should produce slightly higher-quality cement."

How much extra do you pay for using Armenian cement? "֏7-8K per tons. My company's annual import was only 300 tons, mainly for the construction done by us. We will have to switch to Armenian cement," said the businessman.

Economist Atom Margaryan: In general, protecting the domestic producer is a common practice in countries where they still use technologies to solve basic issues. EAEU rules allow such restrictions; Belarus and Kazakhstan have enacted them.

Armenia used to be a major regional producer, but today we're in a tough spot. The border blockade resulted in the loss of markets. The ability to export cement to Turkey and Russia via Azeri and Turkish railways had allowed Armenian producers to remain competitive.

It is no secret that today the Iranian cement causes problems for Armenian producers. When import tariffs were raised recently, it allowed the market to somewhat stabilize. But during the pandemic, the construction volume decreased, cement consumption dropped, and the Armenian producers became uncompetitive again. Maybe that's why today there is talk about banning imports altogether.

From the strategic point of view, it is justified to protect domestic production. It's needed for road and infrastructure repairs. We saw how careful and neutral Iran acted during the war; we need our own industry. We need cement to rapidly build the North-South and the new lengthy borders.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/206366

Judicial reform discussions

Justice Minister Badasyan met representatives of prominent civil society NGO representatives to discuss the ongoing institutional reforms around anti-corruption and judicial. The NGOs presented their opinions and concerns about the vetting not being strict enough.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043331.html

illegal fish breeding facilities

Last year, the authorities audited the fish breeding facilities in 12 settlements of Ararat province and found that out of the 131 buildings, 41 were built illegally, or have illegal structures in them. 4 mayors were found to have committed violations.

For example, in the Sis settlement, 36 hectares of pasture land was illegally leased to companies for building fish facilities. Upon discovery, the mayor was told to either "nationalize" the buildings or to destroy them; the former was done. Hundreds of millions in unpaid fees were paid.

Several felony investigations are launched against the mayors to learn the full scope of their activities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043333.html

COVID stats

5407 tested. 337 infected. 177 healed. 3 deaths. Active 4220.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043316.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043366.html

Gyumri hospital has a new oxygen station & x-ray tomography

The hospital and Healthcare Ministry spent ֏100M on a new oxygen station that can produce 240 cylinders daily. It's enough to supply oxygen to other hospitals in Armenia, too.

Director: When the COVID department was opened last year, we had a severe shortage of oxygen, with only 140-170 daily cylinder capacity, while we were using >200, with up to 270 in a day. The new station can produce 240.

The new X-ray contrast computed tomography cabinet will make stroke treatment more efficient. Annually 200 Gyumri residents will no longer have to travel to Yerevan to undergo the urgent tests. The rapid examination and treatment of a vessel will save lives.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043341.html

re: Yerevan has 500 new elevators

Mayor Marutyan has updates on the elevator progress. His campaign promise was to replace Soviet-era dangerous elevators in high-rise complexes with new ones. 500 have been replaced so far.

Marutyan: This program is unique in that we have replaced 520 elevators in 2 years, compared to just 35 that were replaced in the past 28 years. The doors are 70-80cm which allows wheelchairs. The buttons have markings for the visually imparied. There are also voice buttons.

All elevators are well-lit and roomy, with Armenian writings, and the latest safety mechanisms. Take good care of them. More will be replaced soon."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043338.html

Yerevan's new mini-buses

30 of them entered service last week. Dozens more to do so on Monday. What do passengers think? Video:

https://youtu.be/yaBfWA0yD1g

the church celebrates "Valentine's Day" with the traditional bonfire

Gather all the Kamaz trucks, boys:

https://youtu.be/VxgqRw_TCpI?t=117

winter in Jermuk

https://youtu.be/51TFc9iae-k

today in history

1958: chess grandmaster Smbat Lputyan was born

1974: Russian-Armenia showman Garik Martirosyan was born. He runs the Comedy Club.

2005: YouTube was born.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043301.html

donations to Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older news

http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" or "appear" guilty.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/lk4656/feb142021_1_earthquake_in_armenia_no_major/

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