Utility networks not prepared for quakes

The utility networks in Greek cities are not prepared to withstand the impact of a large earthquake, according to a study made public yesterday. Natural gas pipes have not been reinforced against possible rupture in the event of a strong tremor and other utility networks – such as water and sewage – rely on old and fragile pipes, the study by experts at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University has revealed. Regions where the soil is particularly soft are also vulnerable, according to the study, which assessed the likely impact on Thessaloniki’s infrastructure of quakes measuring between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale. «If a natural gas pipeline suffers a leak, this could cause an explosion,» said Kyriazis Pitilakis, who led the study. He called on authorities to reinforce existing infrastructure to limit the likelihood of such risky eventualities.