Saying that the earthquake which rattled Cyprus on Thursday only underscored the sorry state of their current premises, employees working at the social insurance department on Byron Avenue in Nicosia on Friday stepped up calls to move to a new building until the necessary repairs can be made.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 jolted Cyprus at around 3.30 pm on Thursday. There were no reports of injuries or damage, although people around the island said the tremor was one of the strongest they have experienced.

In a written statement, the social services branch of the civil servants union Pasydy said that in view of the quake, it wanted to convey their acute concern and uneasiness regarding what they called the tragic situation of the building housing the central offices.

They said the public works department has found the 60 year old building needs to be reinforced and maintained as there is wear and tear to the concrete.

In 2020, the director of the public works department had written a number of letters to the ministry’s management asking that the building be vacated immediately so that work could get underway, they added.

However, the technical committee of the permanent secretaries, which is charged with housing of state services, has not decided where staff should be moved to.

“In view of all the above, our branch demands the speeding up of the decision to find an appropriate building so as to safeguard our self-evident right to work in healthy and safe conditions. Alternatively, out branch will be obliged to take measures,” they said.