Turks Can’t Take Another Quake

When a 1999 earthquake struck western Turkey, cheaply made housing blocks flattened into the ground and turned out to have never been inspected. After the quake, the government imposed new building codes. Plans would have to be prepared by authorized architects and construction engineers and approved by inspectors.  Authorized engineers would have to inspect the construction to ensure the right quality of cement and sufficient steel rods were used.

In an article on mb.com.ph, Selcan Hacaoglu of the Associated Press says Turkey has “failed to improve city planning, reinforce substandard buildings, control urban development and punish people who violate building codes.” That’s according to a report by a parliamentary research commission.

Turkey is not ready for another deadly earthquake, especially the city of Istanbul. Mustafa Erdik, head of the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute and Prof. Eser Durukal, also from Kandilli, said, “The greatest effect on reduction of human casualties in Istanbul could be achieved by retrofit/rehabilitation of existing building stock.”

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