Bulgarian PM Visits Quake-Hit Region

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 23, 2012, Wednesday // 09:39
Bulgarian PM Visits Quake-Hit Region: Bulgarian PM Visits Quake-Hit Region Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, met in person Tuesday evening people in Pernik and the nearby village of Vitanovtsi which were rattled by the strongest earthquake to hit the country in the last 100 years. Photo by BGNES

The high school and middle school matriculation exams in Bulgaria's western region of Pernik have been postponed from Wednesday, May 23 to May 29, in the aftermath of the strong earthquake that hit Tuesday morning.

The news emerged during the visit of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, of the disaster-stricken area late Tuesday evening, accompanied by his Deputy and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, the Minister of Regional Development, Lilyana Pavlova, and Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov.

The decision was made during a meeting with the Regional Governor of Pernik, held at 10:30 pm. It stems from the fact many parents are nervous their children will not perform well after the stress from the earthquake and the aftershocks.

Borisov also met with people in downtown Pernik, who had decided to sleep in their cars over fears of new strong aftershocks. After that he traveled to the nearby village of Vitanovtsi.

"Let's pray to God for this to end, and without any casualties. We will fix everything else. I hope the expectations of seismologists that shocks will subside will materialize, but I cannot tell anyone to return home because this is in God's hands," said he, pointing out the buildings "handled the quake surprisingly well.

Schools are closed in the Pernik region Wednesday while the emergency situation is expected to be lifted at noon. Experts continue to assess the damage.

The epicenter of the strongest earthquake to hit Bulgaria in the last 100 years is located about 6 km from Pernik and is at a shallow depth, making the shocks felt even stronger. The first shock had a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale and was registered at 2:58 am Tuesday morning.

Despite the strong tremors, there are no reported casualties, no serious injuries and no significant national infrastructure damage.

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Tags: Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Pernik, Vitanovtsi, Earthquake, damage, finance minister, Simeon Djankov, Minister of Regional Development, Lilyana Pavlova, Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, matriculation exams

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