July 01, 1995

American On Island During Sakhalin Quake

American On Island During Sakhalin Quake
A remote section of Sakhalin. Denis Kostyuck

Michael Allen, of Crescent, Iowa works on Sakhalin Island. He was one of the few Americans (or foreigners, for that matter) on there when the devastating earthquake destroyed the island’s northern city of Neftegorsk on May 28, claiming over 1,800 lives. What follows is his powerful firsthand account of the events on the island surrounding the quake. When the quake hit, he was attending a graduation party for some of his Junior Achievement students.

I didn’t actually feel the tremor, though it was only 100 kilometers away, on the other side of the island, because the music was loud and the party lively at the discotheque in Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky. Our only notice came from anxious parents who had felt the shock, and came pounding at the door in slippers to see that their children were safe. They were.

The kids happily waved them off and the high-school graduation party wound down in the wee hours of Sunday, May 28, as such parties did that night in recreation centers in little towns all across Sakhalin.

Digital Subscription Required

Get unlimited digital access for just $2 a month.

Don't have an account? signup

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602