Turkey’s busiest city Istanbul could be hit speak “big one”, a major earthquake expected to strike in an uncertain future.
Screenings show 491,000 buildings out of about 1.2 million buildings in the city of more over 15.8 millions people will be damaged in a potentially severe earthquake. According to forecasts, more more than 13,000 will suffer the heaviest damage and likely collapse, while more more than 39,000 others will suffer heavy damage. Experts warn disaster could be more severe without renovating the buildings against earthquakes or rebuild them from scratch with robust material.
Based on the average number of 12 residents per buildingsome 6.2 millions people live in those places that can sustain damage.
the city last experienced a major earthquake in 2019, when a magnitude 5.8 tremor rocked son Europe side. Losses were limited to one while several buildings suffered minor damage. But it was a stark reminder of a 1999 earthquake that killed hundreds in the city of Avcılar district.
Speaking on the occasion of Earthquake week, marked between March 1-7 and to raise awareness of the issueSinan Turkkan, head of Earthquake Fortification Association (DEGÜDER), said more people are interested in strengthen their buildings these days. Türkkan told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Tuesday that earthquakes in the past two years and the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the demand. “The longest people had to stay at home car of curfews and quarantines, more they realized of risks,” he said. another factor in rising interest increases construction costs, according to Türkkan. “There is a cost 60% advantage in reinforce a building instead of build a new one. This also takes less time,” he said. added.
He said 90% of buildings susceptible to damage in a potential earthquake can be “saved” by strengthening it. “A violent earthquake is expected in the future. We call to the citizens of test durability of their buildings as soon like possible and if he has the potential for too bad, to strengthen it, ”he said.
“We cannot replace all the buildings with new, robust and it is not necessary anyway. Corn with moo cost and in a shorter time, we can strengthen them. If this is not possible, we must transform them,” he said. the government already pursues an ambitious “urban transformation” project across the country, prioritizing provinces affected by the earthquake risk. It’s about demolition of buildings and reconstruction on the site or elsewhere with the government’s incentives.
Professor Gürsel Öngören, who leads Urban Transformation and Law Platform, an organization organization (NGO), said that it has been 10 years since an urban transformation law was enacted, but not all buildings are dangerous against earthquakes have been transformed. “The law stipulates that dangerous buildings should be evacuated within 60 days of note. We must mobilize and the municipalities should speed up the process of identify dangerous buildings,” he told AA.
Öngören said that citizens also should do not wait for evacuation notices and contact the government agencies for reinforcement or transformation of their buildings, citing the incentives provided by the ministry of Environment, urban planning and climate change.
The ministry launched a new building inspection system in 2011 to thoroughly examine the buildings safety in Case of a disaster. Since, millions of “self-contained units” ranging from apartments to workplaces and some 868,000 buildings were inspected. Currently, 488,000 buildings across the country are inspected by the ministry in Cooperation with private building controlling companies.