MOSCOW (AFP) –
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered the emergencies ministry to check the 2014 Olympic sites in the southern city of Sochi following a string of earthquakes, his spokesman said.
“The President ordered the emergencies ministry to pay close attention to the shocks in Sochi and other cities,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Interfax reported.
“He asked that special attention is paid to construction sites to make sure they suffer no damage,” Peskov added.
Three earthquakes were felt in Sochi since December 10. Authorities said they caused no damage, but paid special concern to the Black Sea resort city due to ongoing construction of the 2014 Olympic Games venues.
A quake of 5.5 magnitude hit the future Olympic host city early Wednesday, according to the Krasnodar region branch of the emergency ministry. A quake of the same magnitude affected Sochi on Sunday.
On December 10, Sochi residents also felt the 4.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near Novorossiysk, the port city over 100 kilometres northwest from Sochi.
On Tuesday, rumours of a stronger earthquake in the city became so prevalent that Sochi’s administration issued a special statement urging residents “not to succumb to panic” and threatened police action against people who spread earthquake rumours.
Olympic developers in Sochi are managing two giant construction sites, in the mountains and by the Black Sea, connected by a road, which is also unfinished.
Although some sport events are already hosted by the city, much of the supporting infrastructure is still unfinished, while residents complain of constant power and water outages.