Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Moscow to collapse under the ground

Geotectonic fractures on Moscow's territory caused the tragedy in Moscow's water park in 2004

A half of Moscow may potentially go under the ground. Scientists believe that more than 50 percent of the city's territory is resting on geotectonic fractures. The ground may cave in and destroy the buildings in such dangerous areas, the head of the Digger-Spas underground research center, Vadim Mikhailov, said last week at a press conference in Moscow.

The specialist believes that the crust instability in Moscow became the reason of the tragedy, which occurred in the Transvaal water park in Moscow in February of 2004. “The park was built in the area of one of the fractures. A series of mini-earthquakes took place on the site of the park before its dome collapsed,” the specialist said.

Similar, albeit non-tragic accidents, occur in Moscow quite regularly. The city government, however, does not take any measures to stave off any other tragedies, approving more and more projects to build huge residential areas in the city instead. Multi-storied buildings, which often have many levels of underground parking areas, cause even more damage to outdated systems of underground communications. The most recent accident took place on June 21st of this year, near the construction site of an elite residential complex. Eyewitnesses said that one of the buildings started sliding down in the foundation pit. The authorities said that the accident occurred because of rains, which soaked the ground through and caused the landslide. Vadim Mikhailov says, however, that rains could not cause such consequences. The hole was quickly filled up with sand; diggers were not even allowed to examine it.

Moscow diggers say that many of Moscow's historical areas, including the Kremlin, are situated in potentially dangerous zones. It is noteworthy that many of the buildings, which are planned to be built or are being built in the city currently, are not included in the General Construction Plan of Moscow. To make matters worse, new buildings appear during very short periods of time: intense constructions result in poorly consolidated foundation pits. To crown it all, companies often ignore construction requirements when they erect multistoried elite houses. Observing all the rules is an expensive process, which eventually cuts the demand and reduces the profit of a company.