NEWS

Quakes send tremors through churches

Churches and cathedrals are the buildings most likely to suffer damage during an earthquake, seismologists said yesterday as they presented the results of a survey that began in 1999. The Greek Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (OASP) began collecting information from prefectures in the wake of the major quake which struck Athens eight years ago. OASP said that 30 out of 50 prefectures responded to their request for information from checks made by structural engineers. The data gathered indicate that churches are more vulnerable to tremors for a range of reasons, such as their design, the materials used and, in some cases, age. OASP said that it had created a database of more than 3,000 public buildings but was disappointed by the response to its survey.