Macedonia Marks 50 Years Since Catastrophic Quake

July 29, 2013

People from across the former Yugoslavia have gathered in Macedonia’s capital to mark the 50th anniversary of an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed much of the city.

The magnitude 6.1 quake on July 26, 1963, also left more than 4,000 people injured and destroyed or seriously damaged 80 percent of the buildings in Skopje – prompting a major international relief effort support by some 90 countries.

Several hundred people, including survivors and veterans of the rescue effort, marched silently through the city. Tents were set up in the city’s main park, the scene of the main aid effort in 1963.

A fault line lies under the Macedonian capital, and earthquakes in 518 and 1555 also leveled the city.

Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

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