Haiti seeks tougher building codes

Feb. 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Tougher building codes will be adopted in Haiti in the wake of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, government officials say.

Dieuseul Anglade, director of Haiti's mines bureau, Friday announced new government regulations regarding the way buildings are constructed in the country, The Miami Herald reported.

"The government itself will develop and apply a new code for the construction," Anglade said. "We need some better plans, better materials. Even if we know that a lot of people want to repair their houses ... the damaged houses, stores or bureaus need to be evaluated and completely repaired in plain view."

The Herald said, however, that calls by the United States and others for Haiti to move government buildings outside the earthquake-prone capital Port-au-Prince were being shrugged off.

"When you move a city, you are talking about moving all of the international embassies, the schools, everything," Leslie Voltaire, a former government minister who is helping to lead the reconstruction effort, told the newspaper. "And we don't have any guarantees an earthquake will not destroy that new city."

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