May 22 2013 saw the first anniversary of the 5.8 Richter scale earthquake that left the Bulgarian mining town of Pernik hit hard and severely shook the nearby capital city of Sofia.
The May 2012 earthquake left large numbers of buildings in Pernik severely damaged, and caused damage to buildings in Sofia, although strikingly the quake caused no deaths and there were no serious injuries.
According to a report by Bulgarian National Radio, more than 5000 households in the regions of Pernik and Sofia were still awaiting compensation from the interdepartmental commission set up by the cabinet after the earthquake.
In some parts of Pernik municipality, there were still people living in caravans made available to them by authorities after the quake.
Soon after the quake, the then-government approved the granting of one-off assistance of 325 leva a household to repair light damage. Subsequently, a series of considerably larger sums were granted.
In the village of Divotino, every third house had been damaged and four had been demolished because they had been rendered uninhabitable, mayor Roumen Sergiev told bTV. There were homes where people were living six to a room, he said.
Sergiev said that he hoped that the pace of grants for repairs could be speeded. “We will wait to see what the new government will do,” he said.
A prayer service was planned to mark the anniversary of the May 2012 earthquake and a local association had decided to put a Christian cross on the highest point of Lyulin mountain near the village to protect the village from further disasters, he said.
(Main photo: Apostoloff)