YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–All buildings constructed or refitted in the earthquake prone regions of Armenia–as part of the $29 million credit program from the World Bank are very firm and can be expected to sustain an earthquake measuring nine points on the Richter Scale–director of the World Bank’s Office for Earthquake Area Restoration Program–Mikael Melkumian–said at a recent news conference.
Under the credit program 314 buildings were put into operation in the Shirak–Lori and Tavush regions in the period from February 1994 to July 1997. 40 of those buildings are newly erected ones–239 have been retrofitted–35 – reinforced.
According to Melkumian–four of the aforementioned 35 buildings have been reinforced by a new seismic insulation method without evacuating residents; seismic insulators capable of devouring the earthquake vigor have been installed beyond the ground floor and the building foundation.
Melkumian said the first building constructed by that method would be put into operation in Spitak this August. The other three buildings are situated in Vanadzor.
Armenia is the first country in the world to apply the method of seismic insulation. The World Bank is currently implementing a program on introduction of that method in different countries situated in the seismically active zone.