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Associated Press
Members of the Macedonian Parliament on Friday lay a wreath at the monument to the victims in a catastrophic earthquake that struck Skopje 50 years ago.

Macedonia marks 50 years since quake

SKOPJE, Macedonia – People from across the former Yugoslavia have gathered in Macedonia’s capital to mark the 50th anniversary of an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed much of the city.

The magnitude 6.1 quake on July 26, 1963, also left more than 4,000 people injured and destroyed or seriously damaged 80 percent of the buildings in Skopje – prompting a major international relief effort support by about 90 countries.

Several hundred people, including survivors and veterans of the rescue effort, marched silently through the city. Tents were set up in the city’s main park, the scene of the main aid effort in 1963.

A fault line lies under the Macedonian capital, and earthquakes in 518 and 1555 also leveled the city.

Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.