On Tuesday, September 28, the Cyprus Association of Civil Engineers (CYACE) said the government is obliged to pass a law that would oblige officials to conduct regular inspections of buildings in seismic zones, and provide for the payment of subsidies for anti-seismic upgrades in conjunction with energy upgrades.
The reason for this statement was the recent powerful earthquake in Crete, due to which houses and churches were damaged, and rockslides arose.
As you may know, Cyprus is also located in the second most seismic zone of our planet (fortunately, in the "weaker" part of it). This zone accounts for 15% of all earthquakes. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran and India.
Scientifically speaking, Cyprus is located in the Mediterranean geosynclinal belt - one of the largest mobile regions of the earth's crust, separating the Eurasian lithospheric plate from the African one. At the same time, the African plate moves northward, colliding with the Eurasian one. As a result, it "moves" just in the area of the Cyprus seismic arch, under the Anatolian microplate, the southern part of the Eurasian plate, thus creating seismic activity in Cyprus.
According to historical data, 26 devastating tremors have occurred in Cyprus over the past 2000 years. That is, one for every 80 years. The last major earthquake (magnitude 5.6) occurred in August 1999 in Limassol district.
The earthquake in Crete is an indicator that the Cyprus construction fund also needs protection in the event of an earthquake of the same magnitude, CYACE said.
The Association stressed that special attention should be paid to old buildings in the country, which were designed without taking into account earthquake resistance. The lack of systematic maintenance of old buildings makes them even more vulnerable.
CYACE pointed to the need to legislate the regular inspection of old buildings, "which will make a significant contribution as a precautionary measure to avoid such catastrophic consequences in the unlikely event of an earthquake in Cyprus."
CYACE noted that after accession to the EU, huge sums have been allocated from European funds for the energy modernization of buildings without corresponding seismic upgrades or control of their seismic adequacy.
The Association, in turn, appealed to the Minister for Climate Crises and Civil Protection of Greece, Christos Stylianides, “expressing their support and willingness to contribute to the inspections of buildings in Crete after the earthquake, which should be done to assess their risk in the affected areas, and also to ensure public safety. "
The organization also expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and injured residents of this region.