Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri was ruined by a devastating earthquake in December 1988. The quake hit the then-Soviet republic killing 25,000 people. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless or living in emergency state buildings.

Twenty years later, the quake still continues to leave victims. More than 4,000 families continue to live in domiks (small temporary houses provided for the homeless by the Soviet government for two years, or built by the homeless themselves). People living in dangerous buildings still have not moved.

Life in domiks and nearly ruined buildings causes health problems and forces living conditions to the lowest level. The dampness and cold caused by thin mostly metal walls of domiks and cracked walls of dangerous buildings cause greater health problems for people each year. Most of the domiks do not have running water or sewerage. People bring water from nearby springs and dig holes, screened by walls, outside their houses for toilets.

Thousands of people in Gyumri continue to endure hardships of life in improper housing conditions. Throughout the 20 years that have passed, children grow up without knowing what it feels like to have a real home. The hardships of people become only harder each year, with the conditions damaging their health more and more.

Photographed in 2009-2010

Photographed in 2011


One Response to “Living in Gyumri Domiks 20 Years after the Earthquake 2009-ongoing”

  1. […] thousands are still left without proper housing, more than two decades after the quake hit. Anush Babajanyan, a photojournalist who has been documenting the housing situation in Gyumri since 2009, visited the domiks again last […]

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