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YEREVAN. – Virtually five percent of Armenian capital city Yerevan’s 4,850 residential buildings are not earthquake resistant, Armenian National Seismic Protection Service official Zaven Khlghatyan said during a press conference on Thursday.  

In his words, the 1988 quake--as a result of which close to one-third of Armenia had turned into a disaster zone--became a huge lesson for the specialists.   

“After the devastating earthquake, we designed our national norms and, now, the buildings are being built in compliance with those norms. The best alternative is for the demolishment of buildings being resided for more than thirty years and for the new ones to be built. But since this is impossible under the current socioeconomic conditions, we need to at least fortify these buildings’ seismic protection level,” noted Khlghatyan.  

The National Seismic Protection Service has introduced for the Government’s discussion the Seismic Risk Reduction Program for Yerevan. First and foremost, the residents’ level of awareness needs to be raised. And the second key issue, as per the specialist, is the fortification of the buildings.      

“Close to ninety percent of Yerevan’s buildings is from the Soviet times and their seismic risks are very high, whereas the buildings currently being constructed are very strong,” said Zaven Khlghatyan.

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