Lagos’ historic centre tops the seismic risk zone, owing to the nature of buildings in the area and their historical value, a new study has revealed. Faced with the risk, the report urges the formation of elaborate emergency contingency plans.
The study, commissioned by the Institute of Earth and Space Sciences, was unveiled at a conference entitled ‘Seismic Risk in the Historic Centre of Lagos’. Professor Mendes Vitor pinpointed Lagos as a high-risk zone because of its proximity to the Algarve’s west coast. The câmara official responsible for protecting the historical centre of the town, Frederico Paula, said the area is particularly vulnerable because “it lies on a completely carbonated area above a gravel bed”.
Lagos Câmara Vice President, Joaquina Matos, said the authority was fully aware of the risk and stressed that new constructions “respect building regulations”. The câmara official said the report contained no new information and that other studies had also pinpointed the need for contingency measures in high-risk areas.
The study does, however, highlight the importance of raising public awareness about seismic activity and recommends the use of advertising campaigns. It also says that civil protection bodies and emergency services should liaise more closely. The most serious devastation to Lagos occurred after the 1755 earthquake, caused by tidal waves.