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Cyprus buildings ‘at the mercy’ of a major earthquake

Thousands of buildings in Cyprus are at the mercy of a major earthquake, according to the Cyprus Civil Engineers and Architects Association (CCEAA).

In a letter to the Communications Ministry and the House Communications Committee, the CCEAA have urged for the necessary legislative amendments to enable regular building inspections and the issuance of a relevant certificate of inspection as preventative measure against dangerous and catastrophic situations.

An example of which was the collapse of a balcony in Limassol on August 11 where, fortunately, there were no victims.

According to CCEAA chief Platonas Stylianou, a large number of buildings in old Nicosia and along the Limassol coastal road are susceptible to seismic events.

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In some cases, balconies and even entire buildings are in danger of collapsing at any moment.

The fact that Cyprus finds itself in an active seismic region, is all the more reason for the government to promote the necessary legislative amendments and any other actions required to ensure the safety of the general public and the safety of their properties according to CCEAA.

CCEAA also consider current state action regarding unsafe buildings to be inadequate and at best a blanket effort.

Another significant factor contributing to the large number of unsafe buildings is the fact that the majority of buildings constructed in Cyprus followed the 1974 war where the pressure of housing the refugees and the new construction needs in general resulted in mass construction using unsuitable building aggregates due to the loss of the quarries on the Pentadaktylos Mountains.

Additionally, these buildings were constructed before the implementation of seismic studies in 1994 and the compulsory supervision of an architect or engineer in 1999.

The collapse of the balcony in Limassol earlier this month is the third since 2011.

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