"THE RIVER CAUSED A LOT OF TROUBLES AND GRIEF THAT NIGHT ..." THE MEMORY OF THE NATURAL DISASTER OF 1921 IN ALMA-ATA IN ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS
Keywords:mudflow, natural disaster, archives, retrospective sources, Eyewitnesses’ memories, Almaty region, revolutionary committee.
The article presents a systematized set of sources for the study of this largest regional natural disaster. The following groups of sources are identified: regulatory legal acts of local government bodies issued in connection with the disaster; summaries and reports of commissions created to organize assistance to victims and eliminate the consequences of mudflows and floods; reports of scientific expeditions to examine the foci of a natural disaster and identify its causes; sources of personal origin (letters and memoirs of eyewitnesses of the events). The level of information content and reliability of different types of sources is characterized, thanks to which it is possible to restore a complete picture of the natural disaster: a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors that led to the disaster; the number of dead and injured; the nature and scale of destruction; the amount of material and moral damage caused and others. An analysis of the sources makes it possible to characterize the actions of the Soviet authorities and evaluate the measures taken by them in terms of organizing measures to provide assistance to victims and overcome the consequences of a natural disaster on a regional scale, to show all the horror of the experience through the eyes of eyewitnesses. Based on the materials of the Alma-Ata natural disaster, the first experience of regional bodies of the still not strengthened Soviet power in organizing assistance to the victims and eliminating the consequences of the disaster is shown. Despite the fact that rescue services have not yet been formed, and local leaders did not have the practice and experience of organizing assistance to the population, it was possible to overcome the consequences of the devastating mudflow and flooding in a relatively short time. Sources testify to the efficiency and organization of the actions of local authorities in the absence of material and organizational support from the center.