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Earthquakes pose greatest natural risk to Switzerland

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Geneva: The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich indicated on Tuesday that though moderate earthquakes occur on a regular basis in the country, “a strong or even catastrophic earthquake could also occur at anytime, anywhere in Switzerland” .The fruit of 10 years of research, SED’s updated seismic hazard model, which replaces its outdated 2004 predecessor, will enhance the organisation’s predictor capabilities as well as its ability to assess hazard levels across the confederation, where some 500 earthquakes are recorded each year, Xinhua reported.

According to improved predictive models, new and more accurate data, and reviewed estimates based on historical sources, canton Valais remains the area with the highest hazard level in the country, followed by Basel, Graubunden, the St. Gallen Rhine Valley, and central Switzerland.

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SED explained that theoretically however, a strong earthquake could occur in any of Switzerland’s twenty-six cantons and at any given time. The most recent moderate earthquake to hit Switzerland dates back to three years ago, when a tremor with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale struck at 30 km below the earth’s surface in the vicinity of Zug.

(IANS)

 

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Swiss Government Bans All Public Events in The Country Due To Coronavirus Concerns

The United Nations is unsure how the Swiss Federal Council's decision will affect large-scale events scheduled to take place on its premises

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Coronavirus
As of Friday morning, the WHO reported more than 83,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, including 2,058 deaths. It reported 4,351 cases in 49 countries outside China, and 67 deaths. VOA

The Swiss government is taking the unprecedented step of banning all public events that have more than 1,000 people in response to a growing number of cases of coronavirus in the country.

The latest number of reported cases of coronavirus infections in Switzerland is 19. An estimated 100 people are in quarantine.

The ban, expected to extend until at least mid-March, has interrupted a number of events, but Swiss authorities say the government’s top priority is to protect the population.

The ban comes in the middle of carnival season, which draws thousands of merrymakers to Swiss towns and villages. One of the biggest casualties is the Geneva International Motor Show, which was scheduled to run March 5 to 15, and attracts about 500,000 visitors every year.

The United Nations is unsure how the Swiss Federal Council’s decision will affect large-scale events scheduled to take place on its premises. For now, the Human Rights Council is the only mass gathering at the U.N. in Geneva.

U.N. Spokesman Rolando Gomez says the news is fresh and he does not know how it will play out. The council session, which examines human rights violations around the world, is due to last until March 20.

Coronavirus
The Swiss government is taking the unprecedented step of banning all public events that have more than 1,000 people in response to a growing number of cases of coronavirus in the country. VOA

“Obviously, you well know there are well over 1,000 participants at the council,” he said.

Switzerland’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed Tuesday in the Ticino region, which has cross-border traffic with Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country. The World Health Organization says Italy now has 400 cases of coronavirus, and numbers are continuing to rise.

ALSO READ: China is Slowly Bringing Coronavirus Outbreak in Control, Says Apple CEO Tim Cook

As of Friday morning, the WHO reported more than 83,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, including 2,058 deaths. It reported 4,351 cases in 49 countries outside China, and 67 deaths.  Nigeria, the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, just reported its first case of coronavirus, as did Mexico. (VOA)