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The first surface earthquake research center in Romania opened in Galati County

The national institute monitoring earthquakes warns over sever underfunding

The National Institute of Earth Physics (INFP) has warned on Friday that it might find impossible to locate quakes due to severe underfunding.

The INFP general manager Constantin Ionescu stated that less then half of the money needed for the seismic network to function has been allotted to the institute on the first semester of this year, adding he has to consider a salary cut under these circumstances.

RON 770,000 have been allotted on the first semester, which would mean less than half of what we need to keep the national seismic network operational (…) I am forced to cut salaries in one month. We covered for the salaries, for the payments, but we have to return the money to the banks. I have taken the decision to cut the meal vouchers for now and we have certain payments to our suppliers suspended,” the manager said.

He added that the explanations received from the Research ministry were even more puzzling.

I did’t understand much from the Research minister’s explanations, he practically said I am the one to blame for spending money. We have paid from our pocket until now. We are talking about the operators’ wages, we have 10 observatories across the country. All belong to the Romanian state, we just manage the goods of the Romanian state (…) Practically, our entire activity addresses to the citizens of Romania, not only to the researchers of the institute,” the manager added.

The institute representatives also warn that the lack of a budget for the basic expenses might impact on the institute, which might find impossible to collect data and establish the seismic areas and the intensity of the earthquakes.

At the same time, Romania risks being expelled from the club of the biggest seismic institutes in the world, with which Romania is currently collaborating. The general manager explained that our country is part of certain international organisations to which Romania is providing information and data in case of strong seisms or of nuclear explosions.

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