Expert blasts quake measures

Successive Greek governments have adopted a blinkered approach to forming a coherent and forward-looking policy on earthquake protection mainly due to fears of harming tourism, one of the country’s top seismologists told Sunday’s Kathimerini. In a scathing attack on the state, Professor Vassilis Papazachos said that there is enough expert knowledge to predict the approximate force and location of any earthquake that will occur over the next five years but the government seems unwilling to take the advice on board. «It has to take the big step now because if that does not happen now, it will never happen. If the proper measures are taken, we will reduce the number of deaths from earthquakes to almost nil,» said Papazachos. The professor identified the lack of a program for pre-seismic checks on buildings in areas prone to quakes and the absence of a tsunami warning system for Greece – the most seismically active country in Eurasia – as key issues which need to be resolved.