Tremor damage prevention to be improved

The government has decided to step up efforts to protect state-owned buildings and infrastructure from the effect of earthquakes.

This content was published on April 1, 2009 - 15:04

The cabinet approved a set of measures, including a coordinating and supporting role for the federal authorities for prevention activities of the cantons, the communes and private owners.

The measures are to be implemented by 2012, said Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger on Wednesday.

He appealed to cantons, which have a wide-ranging autonomy, to increase checks on whether private owners observe building regulations.

Experts say parts of Switzerland, notably around Basel and the Valais region, are in tremor-prone geological zones and damage is among the most expensive because much of the area is very built-up.

Earthquakes measuring five on the Richter scale occur once a decade in Switzerland and those of even greater magnitude once a century.

swissinfo with agencies

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