Peruvian President Announces Preventive Earthquake-Safety Program

By Dialogo
March 05, 2010

A preventive earthquake-safety program will be implemented in Peru,
principally in at-risk urban areas, with the objective of preparing the population
for the possibility of very intense earth movements, Peruvian president Alan García
announced Wednesday.

“We need all families to be adequately prepared so that they know what to do
in case of a very intense earthquake, they know what is the safest place from the
structural and earthquake-safety point of view, and they reinforce that place,” the
president told the press.

García indicated that the government will contract hundreds of engineers, in
addition to the professionals employed by the state, to conduct a rapid survey of
the most critical areas, such as housing built on hillsides and the oldest

“In this way we will be able to detect housing that should not be inhabited,
that has to be demolished, and the inhabitants of which need to be moved elsewhere.
We have to anticipate the future; this is fundamental,” he said.

The head of state also announced that the government will purchase a tsunami
early-warning system, something that the Geophysical Institute of Peru has been
urging for years.

García’s announcements come one day after his trip to Chile, where Peru has
sent humanitarian aid for the victims of Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake that
has left at least 799 dead.