Gorny Altai, Russia. In autumn 2003 the village Beltir underwent severe destructions resulting from the earthquake. The hypocenter was only three kilometres away from dwelling houses. More than half of all houses were destroyed, 1400 people became homeless. The area was declared to be a disaster zone which was beyond repair. Some time later the main number of locals were resettled but some dozens of people continue their life in the “dead” village that officially does not exist anymore.
An airport used to be here.
Lenin still stands next to the building of the local administration.
It’s the way to Beltir – forty kilometres of asphalted road which has not beed repaired for many years.
Nine magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale led to melting of some glaciers, caused a number of large landslides, destroyed the settlement, but did not kill a single person.
A movie about zombies could be made here.
It’s a non-working fueling station.
The locals say that animals had felt the upcoming disaster a month before it began. Mountain goats had left the pastures, marmots came out of hibernation and wolves came to the village.
More than half of all houses are abandoned or destroyed. It’s the window of the former school.
These are local children.
Forty families refuse to leave.
Tired old people want to die on their native land, lazy youngsters want nothing but another bottle of alcohol.
But someone keeps working, experimenting with greenhouse farming. Someone goes fishing.
The epicenter of the earthquake was somewhere at this place.
Though the place is very beautiful!
Before the landslide this had been a smooth hillside forest.
Mounds can be frequently noticed in the area.
People used to have camels for caravan transitions but now they are bred for milk, wool and meat.
Among the ruins there work a medical centre, a post-office and a library, and by efforts of one local businessman, food is brought to the local shop from time to time.
Looking at them it seems they are still shocked by the disaster.
Even those who still care about their life, admit the fact that Beltir has no future.
Things are a bit better in “New” Beltir. The major part of those who were left homeless moved to a new settlement Beltir that was built for the money of the republic and sponsors. Each family got a compensation for the destroyed apartments – about 16 650 USD which was better than nothing.
The new town was born in the middle of the steppe.
The adults miss the old village – there were mountains, forests and the river there, here they only have steppe for kilometres around.
These are the photos of the crack taken the next day after the earthquake.
How does it feel to have no hope for better future?