|Piqué left Japan three hours before the eathquake (Photo: El Comercio)|
Javier Piqué del Pozo, dean of the school of civil engineering from the Universidad de Ingeniería warned that there will be “two very strong earthquakes in Peru.”
In an interview with El Comercio, Piqué explained that during a seismologist summit that took place in Japan, days before the earthquake, specialists had concluded that Peru could be hit by strong earthquakes in the mid-term.
“Two earthquakes could strike southern Peru and in front of Lima,” he said.
Piqué, who left Japan scarcely three hours before the 8.9 magnitude quake, explained that Peru is situated in the Ring of Fire and, consequently, is on a very sensitive and vulnerable geological area to earthquakes and tsunamis.
“We know there will be earthquakes in Peru, but we don’t know when. So we have to be prepared, improve our housing structures, and line up evacuation plans. It is very bad what could happen,” said the specialist.
Piqué said that hospitals and medical stations have to reinforce their structures, as well as schools and stadiums that are usually used as refugee camps when a natural disaster occurs.
Luis Palomino, chief of the Civil Defense Institute (Indeci), said that it is a matter of “extreme concern” the “seismic silence” in the central area of Peru.
The official said that the population has to be prepared and government authorities should implement civil defense policies to minimize the impact of an earthquake.
“We are concerned about a tsunami that originates quite close to Peru’s coastline. Any day we can have a high magnitude earthquake that can generate a tsunami in 15 or 20 minutesand we will not have the time to warn the population,” he said.