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Armenia Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details

Drought

Yes

 n/a

Earthquakes

Yes

According to the National Survey for Seismic Protection, (NSSP), there are on average 15 earth tremors per month inArmenia.

Although the entire country is theoretically susceptible to earthquakes, previous major occurrences have been limited to the northern (Spitak 1988) and southern (Syunik late 60s) regions.

The official earthquake hazard map for Armenia identifies most major centers of population to be located in Very High or High hazard areas.

A major earthquake inYerevancould result in very high numbers of casualties; the building constructions are not always earthquake-proof.

NSSP is responsible for monitoring all seismic activity and is able to produce damage and casualty assessments for all settlements inArmeniathat might be affected by earthquake.

Epidemics

No

  n/a

Extreme Temperatures

No

  n/a

Flooding

No

  n/a

Insect Infestation

No

  n/a

Mudslides

No

  n/a

Volcanic Eruptions

No

  n/a

High Waves / Surges

No

  n/a

Wildfires

No

  n/a

High Winds

No

  n/a

Other Comments

  n/a  n/a

Man-Made Issues

  

Civil Strife

Yes

The degree and effect of civil unrest following, for example, a negatively perceived settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue or a worsening economic situation is hard to predict.

For the purpose of this assessment, it has been decided to consider it a nation-wide problem

International Conflict

No

  n/a

Internally Displaced Persons

No

  n/a

Refugees Present

 

War as a hazard is not easy to map, nor is it easy to predict where it may happen next.

During the conflict withAzerbaijanthe international community provided support to 350,000 Armenian refugees from Armenian areas

near the border with Azerbaijan, Karabagh itself, ethnic Armenians living in Bakuand, to some extent, other towns inAzerbaijan.

It also provided support to 500,000 Azeri refugees in Karabagh. Potential areas for future conflict include Nakhichevan,Western Turkey, andGeorgia,

all areas whereArmeniaclaims historic patrimony

Landmines / UXO Present

No

  n/a

Nuclear accident

Yes

The country’s sole nuclear power station is located at METZAMOR, approximately 30 km west ofYerevan.

According to an official assessment, a major contamination threat following an accident could result in up to 180,000 of the population of a surrounding area within a radius of 16 km being affected.

The validity of this assessment is questionable, because it does not appear to take prevalent weather conditions or down-wind hazards into account.

Seismic activity in the area is monitored continuously by NSSP.  The situation is further complicated by the fact that the nuclear power plant is located in an area identified as a High risk hazard for earthquake probability.

Should the power station become damaged by seismic activity, the consequences would be catastrophic. Depending on the direction of the wind, the evacuation of the entire population ofYerevanmight have to be undertaken.

The country’s main international airport access would be severely disrupted, as would the only rail access route withGeorgia. 

Local weather conditions would directly influence the downwind radiation hazard in the event of an accident at the nuclear plant.

The annual prevalent wind conditions in theYerevanregion show that a wind from the southwest blows from 19 to 21% of the year and that winds from the northeast blow for 19 to 35% of the year.

The average annual speed is between 1.5 to 2 meters per second but in winter, these speeds are generally weaker.

In spring and autumn, wind speeds can reach 15 meters per second. This would indicate that the effects of any nuclear contamination would affect both central and northeastArmenia,

including the densely populatedYerevan, or easternTurkey

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

 

Seasonal Affects on Transport

Transport

Comments

From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

The northern and southern parts of the country, which provide the sole communication routes toGeorgiaand Iran are mountainous with many winding passes.

Weather conditions in these areas during the winter months (late October to the end of March) can result in difficult vehicular traffic, with snow, ice and fog common on high passes.

October – April

Secondary Road Transport

The northern and southern parts of the country, which provide the sole communication routes toGeorgiaand Iran are mountainous with many winding passes.

Weather conditions in these areas during the winter months (late October to the end of March) can result in difficult vehicular traffic, with snow, ice and fog common on high passes.

 n/a

Rail Transport

 n/a n/a

Air Transport

 n/a n/a

Waterway Transport

 n/a n/a

 

The northern and southern parts of the country, which provide the sole communication routes to Georgia and Iran are mountainous with many winding passes. Weather conditions in these areas during the winter months (late October to the end of March) can result in difficult vehicular traffic, with snow, ice and fog common on high passes. The central plains region is flat with no particular seasonal issues affecting usage.

For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

http://www.emdat.be/country-profile

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response

Rep. of Armenia legislation provides regulatory coverage of around 80% of disaster management sphere.
RA laws "On Protecting Population in Emergencies", "On Fire Safety", "On Hydro-Meteorological Activity", "On Seismic Protection", "On Civil Protection", "On State Regulation for Technical Safety", "On Armenian Rescue Service" and "On Units of Civil Protection" providing regulation for the sphere and numerous other relevant laws have been adopted. (see. www.laws.am)  Disaster management sphere is also regulated at sub-legislative level: several hundreds of Government and Prime-Ministerial Decrees and Orders of the heads of other agencies are in effect. At present, according to the Laws "On Protecting Population in Emergencies", "On Civil Protection" and other laws of RA, the disaster management system includes state government agencies, local governments and organizations.
The authorities of ministries and other agencies are clearly specified at legislative and sub legislative levels, both in general terms and in relation to specific phenomena causing potential emergencies.
The legislation of RA specifies the competences of the republican authorized executive agency in the sphere of emergencies: the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) and the powers of its subordinate agencies. This provides an almost full coverage of the framework for emergency prevention, mitigation and recovery.
The activities and powers of regional authorities are fully and clearly specified. For prompt and efficient emergency management, mitigation and recovery, the right to give direct instructions to regional sub-divisions of republican executive agencies has been reserved to regional authorities by laws and sub legislation acts.
The diagram below demonstrates united system of disaster management (DM) includes republican and regional government agencies, local self-government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations. The main purpose of the system is protection of population in the whole country through legal and organizational complex activities.

For information on Armenia Government and Humanitarian capacity for emergency response, please see the following document: 

Armenia Capacity for In-Country Emergency Response

For information on Armenia humanitarian Contact details, please see the following link:

4.1 Armenia Government Contact List