Almost 200 El Centro businesses close doors; Noise ordinance needs ‘teeth’; Quake moves Manta toward the ocean

Jun 5, 2016 | 19 comments

According to a survey conducted by the city of Cuenca, 195 historic district businesses have closed their doors since 2015. The number represents about 15% of all businesses in the district.

Ecuador news digest logoThose conducting the survey blame the closures on poor economic conditions and tram construction, which has affected dozens of businesses on Calles Gran Colombia and Sangurima, where tracks are being installed.

The survey said that some of the businesses that have closed have reopened in other locations in the city and that other business owners on the tram route say they plan to reopen once work is completed.

City considers penalties for noise ordinance

Municipal councilman Carlos Orellana says that a proposed Cuenca noise ordinance must come with strong penalties to be effective. “The ordinance we have on the books does not carry strong consequences and is easy to ignore. The new one must come with penalties that send a strong message,” he said.

A street in Manta. Credit: El Universo

A street in Manta. Credit: El Universo

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According to Orellana, 70 percent of noise pollution in the city comes from motor vehicles. “This is where we have to focus enforcement,” he says. “Car horns improperly used, car alarms and poorly tuned motors are major contributors in noise pollution. If the penalties are strong and the enforcement is rigorous, the new law will be effective.”

Mayor Marcelo Cabrera agrees with Orellana and says he will approve a new ordinance if he believes it will be effective.”

April quake reduces chance of other coastal quakes in short term and moves Manta to the west

Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute (GI)says that the massive earthquake that rocked Ecuador’s north coast April 16, reduces the chances of another powerful quake occurring in the same area.

“A tremendous amount of pressure was released in the continental subduction zone in April and this means there is a much lower chance of another large earthquake happening in the same area,” said geologist Marcelo Moncayo, who is studying earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan. “I am speaking in the short-term, of course. We have to remember that this earthquake happened only 18 years after the 1998 Bahia de Caraquez event in roughly the same area,” he added.

GI researcher Hugo Yepez reported early last week that the April earthquake moved the city of Manta about a meter to the west. He said that there have been 1,610 after shocks since April 16.

 

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