Last update: 05-Dec-2013 1:31 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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In wake of Friday’s earthquake Rowley: Govt must look at Couva hospital design again
Friday’s 6.4 earthquake is a reminder that T&T is in an earthquake zone and the Government should ensure the Couva Children’s Hospital design can withstand a major earthquake. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said so yesterday evening while speaking with the T&T Guardian during a walkabout in Lisas Gardens, California, Point Lisas. Rowley said everyone should be prepared for earthquakes, given the country’s location in an active earthquake zone. “It (Friday’s earthquake) is a reminder that it is a natural hazard we have to live with and we have to prepare for it,” he said.
In August, in series of T&T Guardian articles, seismologists and structural engineers raised concerns over the $1.5 billion Couva Children’s Hospital being built near the earthquake active Central Range fault line in Preysal. Last evening, Rowley said after Friday’s earthquake, the Government needs to ensure the hospital’s design is sound. “I think Government should take note that such events do take place here. So when you are building on a fault line you have to make sure that your engineering takes that into account and that is why we are questioning the Couva hospital and the engineering of that (project) because it has to be designed to a certain earthquake strength,” Rowley said. The PNM leader, who was joined by enthusiastic supporters on his walkabout, commenting on T&T’s state of readiness for an earthquake said: “You get ready for an earthquake well before; you do not get ready during the earthquake. And we live in an earthquake zone so all of our structures and preparations ought to be sound.”
Rowley, a geologist by profession, said citizens are fortunate and lucky that nothing serious took place, in terms of damage. On Saturday night, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, addressing supporters at a United National Congress (UNC) meeting at Rio Claro junction, Rio Claro, praised God that nothing untoward happened during Friday’s earthquake. She said when the earthquake struck, she immediately contacted line ministers who made checks to ensure no major damage occurred. She said power was lost on the East-West Corridor for a short time. She praised workers who ensured power was restored.
PNM undecided on debate
Rowley said he was pleased with the reception he received during his walkabout in Lisas Gardens last evening. “The response is very good...I’m a very pleased with the response. There are people who are eager to come out to vote and I expect that to show in the polls on Monday (21)” he said.
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