Posted on October 6, 2013
They are flying their flags at half-mast to remember the victims of an earthquake that happened on this date in 1948.
The 7.3 earthquake was one of the deadliest in human history and devastated the capital city of Ashgabat.
|The fire you see here has burned non-stop|
for 40 years. This giant hole-full-of-fire was
formed when people drilling for natural gas
accidentally caused the cavern full of
dangerous methane gas to collapse.
A nation that was once part of the Soviet Union, that is next door to Afghanistan, and that suffers from really high unemployment...you can probably guess that life is not incredibly easy in Turkmenistan. However, the nation has enjoyed recent economic growth because of its large reserves of natural gas. It also has oil resources and grows enough cotton to export some.
Turkmenistan is a bit larger than my native state of California, but it doesn't have quite as much good agricultural land as Cali does—because 80% of the nation is covered by a black-sand desert!
I noticed an “export treemap” diagram (above) in the Wikipedia article about Turkmenistan. It shows how dependent the nation's economy is on just three things (natural gas, oil, and cotton). It would be great if the nation could diversify—which means build many different industries instead of depending on just a few industries. Compare the diagram to the U.S. export treemap below.
Is diversity always good? I was thinking about how wonderful biodiversity is (lots and lots of different creatures in a habitat, instead of just a few), how wonderful cultural and ethnic diversity is (many different types of music and food available, along with many different holidays and traditions)...and of course a nation is much stronger with economic diversity, too.
I can't think of a kind of diversity that's bad...can you?
To learn more about Turkmenistan, check out this earlier post.
Also on this date:
National German-American Day