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March 21, 2023
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89 Hospitals in Romania Are at Risk of Collapse or Significant Damage during Earthquakes

89 hospitals in Romania are listed as ‘buildings with seismic risk’ according to a recent investigation conducted by the Romanian journalist Petru Zoltan from Defapt.ro. These buildings could collapse or suffer significant damage in case of an earthquake.

In Romania, there are classes of seismic risk to identify the buildings by their risk of collapsing during earthquakes. The buildings at risk are marked with a red dot, but hospitals avoided being marked this way. The reason behind all that is obvious: patients would refuse to be treated in such buildings.

Many hospitals in Romania are at risk of collapsing one after another at the first earthquake. At the national level, 197 sanitary units were technically expertized and classified into different seismic risk classes. At least 21 Romanian hospitals are in risk class I, meaning they have a high risk of collapsing during an earthquake. Another 68 hospitals were included in risk class II constructions that may suffer significant damage after an earthquake.

Currently, in the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations records, 197 healthcare buildings have been technically expertized and classified in seismic risk classes, 21 of which are classified in risk class I and 68 in risk class II.

General Dan Paul Iamandi, the military head of the Romanian Inspectorate for Emergency Situations

But these data are contradictory because in the Recovery and Resilience Program, the program through which Romania receives funds from Brussels, only 37 high seismic risk hospitals are mentioned.

According to the data communicated by the Romanian Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, in 2018, 137 hospitals located in Bucharest and 15 counties of the country operate in buildings with seismic risk, and 37 of them are in buildings with high seismic risk (class I and II), which means the imminent danger of collapse in case of a strong earthquake. The need for interventions to improve the quality and safety of the sanitary infrastructure is, therefore, acute, all the more so since the users of the buildings are, for the most part, people who cannot evacuate themselves in case of emergencies.

Recovery and Resillience Plan for Romania

The conclusion is sad: Romanians don’t know which hospitals could endanger their lives if an earthquake strikes while treating them for various affections in those buildings. This is unfair to Romanian society or the doctors and nurses working in these high-risk seismic buildings.

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