Expert: Türkiye world’s 5th most dangerous earthquake country
Türkiye is among the top five most vulnerable countries to earthquakes in the world, said Altınbaş University’s professor Sepenta Naimi, adding that adequate measures on time can help us in mitigating devastation caused by catastrophes, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.
“The recent earthquakes have increased the accumulation of energy in the fault lines of Western Anatolia, Northern Anatolia, Marmara, and the Aegean regions. As a result of the movement of the Earth’s crust, the danger signals for these regions are gradually increasing,” he explained.
The last 100 years have seen Türkiye experience some of its most devastating earthquakes, including the Erzincan earthquake, causing significant loss of life and property. Two major earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes struck southern Türkiye, affecting 10 provinces and about 13 million people last Monday. Despite ongoing rescue operations, challenges remain in place as several more are expected under the rubble.
Don’t obstinate with quake
Experts continue to emphasize that earthquakes are a natural phenomenon and not a disaster, cautioning against taking a dismissive approach toward preparedness. In this regard, Naimi also emphasized that Türkiye should be one of the countries that need to be prepared all the time as it lies on many active fault lines.
Building stocks should be inspected
According to Naimi, the first step toward preparedness is a comprehensive inspection of the country’s existing building stock. He stressed the importance of prohibiting unplanned and illegal construction. The necessary reinforcements for public buildings, hospitals, and schools should be made in a way that they are able to withstand earthquakes, he added.
In addition, the existing building stock must be strengthened and updated against potential earthquakes regularly, which is a short-term, yet crucial solution.
Naimi emphasized that investing in preparedness against earthquakes requires a significant amount of effort and resources, but it is worth it in the long run. “The expenses we make today may not be mentioned in the balance sheet, but when we look at the consequences of not being prepared, there is no price we can compensate for losing lives. Money can be regained, but the lives lost can never be brought back,” he underscored.
Many old, unchecked building stocks
Naimi highlighted that the primary concerns are old and uncontrolled buildings, particularly those built prior to the year 2000, which pose a significant threat. He suggested that the state should increase its support and quickly inspect the existing building stock, focusing on strengthening or transforming the unstable buildings.
Despite efforts to renovate these buildings under the guise of urban transformation, it is imperative to address their instability immediately.