Putin Travels to Chechnya to Inspect Post-Quake Rebuilding Efforts

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 39

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin traveled to Chechnya on October 16 to inspect reconstruction work following an earthquake that struck the republic on October 11. Putin and Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu were met at the airport by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who then accompanied the visitors to the town of Gudermes.

Earlier, during a meeting with Kadyrov and Shoigu on October 14, Putin promised to render all of the financial aid needed to repair what had been damaged during the quake. Shoigu said that 700 specialists were in the republic to help restore the supply of water, natural gas and electricity, adding that more specialists would be sent to the republic. Shiogu estimated that the repair work would take two weeks and noted that three district hospitals were damaged in the quake.

Kadyrov, for his part, reported on October 14 that 4,120 apartment buildings had been damaged by the quake, 1,400 of which could not be rebuilt. He also said that three hospitals and various education and cultural facilities would also have to be rebuilt completely. Putin noted that the quake had left 20,000 people homeless and praised the role Kadyrov had already played in rebuilding Grozny.

Two tremors hit Chechnya in quick succession on October 11, the first with a magnitude of 5.6 and the second at 4.8, the Moscow Times reported on October 13, citing the Emergency Situations Ministry. Thirteen people were killed and 100 injured, and an Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman in Moscow told the Moscow Times that three children were among those killed by the quake and that of the 27 people hospitalized, 12 were in serious condition. A state of emergency was declared in the region.