The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Geology matters, so do lives – Peter Gatt on collapsed buildings

Sunday, 26 January 2020, 11:44 Last update: about 5 years ago

Well-known geologist Peter Gatt has commented about the recent Facebook post by Caroline Micallef, who argued that after her home was demolished nine months ago due to neighbouring construction work, nothing has been done.

The incident dates back to 24 April 2019, when a building neighbouring a construction site collapsed. This was one of the situations that had led to a change in construction site regulations.

In a post on social media, geologist Peter Gatt said that "the sad part of this story is that the geological mechanism (triggered by excavation) resulting in ground failure has remained unnoticed or ignored by authorities. The delusion that ground geology had little to do with the tragic event , as circulated by some, means that history will repeat itself, and more property and people will be damaged."


"Malta remains the only European country that does not have a national geological service."

This is not the first time Gatt has made such an observation, and had spoken with this newsroom about such a service back in June 2019. Back then, he had said that such a service "would identify areas in the country that are more prone to geo-hazards if there is excavation." From there, he said, the Service would advise what kind of precautions should be made. It should not only have an advisory role, but a regulatory one, where if one wants to excavate in certain areas they would need to take the precautions issued.


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