NICARAGUA: MANAGUA: 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF EARTHQUAKE DISASTER

Spanish/Nat Nicaragua is preparing to mark the 25th anniversary of an earthquake which destroyed much of the capital Managua and cost 10-thousand lives. The scars have not yet healed for many who continue to live amid the ruins left behind. A two-day conference organised by Nicaragua's Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) this week set in motions plans to rebuild parts of the city and deploy safeguards in the event of a repeat disaster. The memory of Nicaragua's last major earthquake still haunt those who were lucky enough to survive. These are some of the homes ruined in the disaster. yet they haven't been knocked down and continue to serve as family homes. The capital Managua stands on a series of faultiness which on three occasions this century have shifted, bringing chaos in their wake. In 1972, on 23 December, ground tremors razed much of the city to the ground. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) "The house fallen, the people without food and the looters stripping us bare, they robbed my entire family of everything, and the belongings of my son and my sister as well. And we didn't care about that what was important was life." SUPER CAPTION: Josefina Salgado, earthquake survivor An estimated 10-thousand lives were lost in the destruction which followed the earthquake. A bustling city became a virtual wasteland in the space of a few seconds. That fateful day was 23 December and, 25 years on, time has not healed the wounds. Leading experts on earthquakes attended a two day conference this week in Managua to mark the anniversary. The conference, organised by Nicaragua's Institute of Territorial Studies, ended on Thursday, and was to discuss public safeguards in the event of a repeat of the 1972 disaster. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) "Managua was, more than 25 per cent of the population, the entire government, congress, a large part, the greater part of industries, trade so therefore the impact on the country was completely extraordinary." SUPER CAPTION: Claudio Gutierrez, Director of INETER But the need of urgent steps required to guarantee public safety is great. What is needed most is construction away from the faultiness, using earthquake proof materials. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) We were looking into where the faultiness lie and we were also investigating the parameters ......to say to the those who build here how they can do it and where." SUPER CAPTION: Wilfried Strauch, Head of Geophysical department of INETER Modern Managua has risen once again out of the ruins. But the multi-storeyed buildings still rise from foundations built on faultiness which have already had catastrophic consequences. And the scars of 1972 are an ever present reminder of the danger lurking beneath the Earth's surface. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/76f097878282b7550c4d168d65aba29f Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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