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Russian Emergencies Ministry to examine social facilities in Sochi

December 26, 2012, 19:19 UTC+3

19 earthquakes had been registered on the Black Sea coast since the start of 2012

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SOCHI, December 26 (Itar-Tass) – An expert team of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations arrived in Sochi on Wednesday to examine the resort’s socially vital facilities for possible quake damage. A 5.5-point earthquake hit Sochi on the night from December 25 to 26, Sergei Shlyakov, the deputy minister for emergency situations, told a special news briefing on Wednesday.

He said that no aftershocks had been registered. “All life-support systems are operating normally. Experts are assessing the state of buildings and structures,” Shlyakov went on to say. He emphasized that there was no danger that tremors, especially strong ones, would recur. The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations together with the Sochi city administration has compiled a list of facilities to be examined in the first place.

"Divers are checking the underwater parts of various facilities in Sochi while experts are examining high-rising structures such as chimneys and masts,” Shlyakov went on to say.

Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, told journalists that 19 earthquakes had been registered on the Black Sea coast since the start of 2012. The most powerful tremor measuring 5.7 points occurred on December 23.

In the meantime, the authorities in Sochi have called on the residents and guests of the resort city not to believe rumors that a stronger earthquake is allegedly coming.

"An earthquake measuring 5.5 points occurred in the Black Sea 154 km away from Sochi closer to the territory of Georgia. No casualties or destruction have been reported. All life-support services are operating normally. Experts say that the dynamics of seismic activity is on decline,” the Sochi mayor’s office said in its statement.

The Sochi administration has described rumors about a stronger earthquake as a provocation. The authorities urged the Sochi residents to stay calm and not be panicky. "Law enforcers will resolutely thwart any attempts of provocations and speculations about possible earthquakes,” the mayor’s office emphasized.

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