Passengers in the trains from Athens to Thessaloniki had a hard time and they had to wait at a moment when the traveler’s connection between north and south was difficult. Just before 6 o’clock yesterday afternoon a strange man called an Athens’ newspaper threatening that there is a bomb placed in a tunnel close to Tembi. After a close check of the police in the region it turned out to be a false alarm and the traffic of trains was restored.
From the Ministry of Transport and Communication they announced that by the end of the week they will receive two reports on the condition of the passage after the landslide in December. One of the reports is of “Highway Egeo” company, who is responsible for the road and the other is made by a team of experts from Greece and abroad who were hired by the ministry. One of the scenarios, which the government is considering is that the traffic is allowed in about a month time – much earlier than the previously announced terms.
“Highway Egeo” company will make an assessment of the condition of the highway, will propose the measures to be taken and will present the terms of execution. At present the highway is abandoned in the condition in which it was on December 17th in order to ease the assessment of the experts and the work on cleaning the site will start at the order of the ministry.
Ministry of Transport and communication awaits the second report from the committee of experts, under the guidance of professor in technical geology in the Patras University Georgios Kukis and his colleagues from Austria, France and Canada. According to the ministry the risk of new landslide could not be 100% avoided and that is why the road will be opened again in about a month.
According to scientists the cliffs in Tembi region are calcareous and are split in multiple cracks. This factor along with the construction of the highway in the 50s of last century and the corrosion of the cliffs by water and cold lead to the conclusion that the risk of new landslide can hardly be 100% avoided.
That is why one of the suggestions of the scientists is to remove the dangerous cliffs and to place bars, which will hold the cliffs from a possible collapse. In 1977 there was a similar landslide and Prof. Kukis who is currently head of the experts committee, made the report on the measures to be undertaken at the time.