The Lord Byron School, Leninakan (now Gyumri), Armenia. At 11.41am on the 7th December 1988, Armenia was devastated by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale. It is thought a minimum of 30,000 people died. The epicentre was near Spitak (pop. 30,000) which was almost totally destroyed. Not far away was Leninakan (pop. 240,000) where 70% of all buildings were left either collapsed or unsafe. 31 of the 37 schools were destroyed. The British Government paid for, and British companies equipped, a new school to replace one which had taught in English.