Istanbul will be prepared for a possible devastating earthquake, which seismologists warn about. This was stated by the Minister of Ecology and Urban Development of Turkey Mehmet Ozhaseki.
“We met with Mr. [Istanbul Mayor] Ekrem [Imamoglu] and the heads of districts [Istanbul] about a possible earthquake in Istanbul, we reached an agreement in principle. We start work [to prepare for the impact of the elements] next week. the danger of an earthquake is a topic outside of politics, there is not a second to lose,”
According to Ozhaseki, the city is among the most dangerous metropolitan areas in terms of seismic activity. The minister noted that there are 5.8 million independent buildings in Istanbul, of which 1.5 million are at risk, and 600,000 are at high risk.
On July 12, Turkish seismologist, member of the Council of Scientists of the Istanbul City Hall, Naci Gerur, predicted tremors with a magnitude of 7.2-7.6 in the Sea of Marmara region, where the city is located, with a population of about 17 million people. Seismologists have repeatedly warned of the danger of an earthquake. It is expected that about 90 thousand buildings may collapse immediately, 260 thousand will be damaged and become uninhabitable, 4.5 million residents of the metropolis will need temporary housing.
In turn, RIA Novosti, citing another member of the Council Haluk Eyidogan, reported that the probability of such an earthquake by 2030 is about 50%.
“There is nothing new in the words of Mr. Gerur; from time to time, scientists remind the public of such a threat. There is no purpose to scare, we only remind people to prepare for such a catastrophe, and the authorities take the necessary measures in advance to reduce possible damage in the future. People tend to quickly forget, ”the specialist noted.
According to him, the authorities are working on several scenarios for the development of events and have already estimated the possible number of victims and the predicted damage. So, according to him, Turkey will feel the negative effect of the incident, since Istanbul provides about 35% of the country’s GDP.
“An earthquake in the Sea of Marmara will affect seven provinces at once, the population of which exceeds 25 million people, it is difficult to even imagine how significant the damage will be. Residents of Tekirdag, Canakkale, Yalova, Bursa and other cities may not think that they are safe – the disaster will affect the entire region, it will be large-scale,” he explained.
In March, Turkey’s former urban development minister Murat Kurum said that in the event of an earthquake, the authorities plan to resettle 1.5 million residents of non-seismic buildings. Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu pointed to the city’s overcrowding.
In turn, the head of the laboratory of seismic hazard of the Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Alexei Zavyalov, in a conversation with Lenta.ru, welcomed the decision Turkish authorities to start preparing for an earthquake based on the analysis of seismologists, however, noted that the date, place and strength of the elements cannot be accurately predicted.
“It is unlikely that the next strong earthquake will occur in the coming years on the southern branch of the Anatolian Fault. The northern branch of the Anatolian fault is more seismically active, and strong, socially significant earthquakes regularly occur on this fault. If the outbreak is close to Istanbul (at a distance of 10-15 kilometers) or under it, it will be very bad for the city,” he explained.
According to him, the local authorities plan to create satellite cities far from Istanbul and build earthquake-resistant buildings there. He noted that historical buildings in the city may suffer.
“Istanbul is the ancient capital of Turkey and there are many old buildings. Naturally, these buildings throughout the history of their existence have been repeatedly exposed to seismic waves. Surely they have accumulated damage that has not yet led to a loss of stability, but another strong earthquake can lead to them, ”
– Zavyalov noted.
In turn, seismologist Ruben Tatevosyan did not give forecasts for the future earthquake in a conversation with 360, because “this is an unattainable accuracy.” However, he also noted the seismic danger of the area where Istanbul is located:
“Indeed, this zone is seismically active, strong earthquakes may well occur there. In principle, this is a continuation of the North Anatolian Fault, which runs through the Sea of Marmara. By itself, this place can be considered the focus of a strong earthquake, which is quite consistent with the idea of the tectonics of the region.”
In early February, Turkey and Syria were seriously affected by the earthquake. According to various estimates, 57,000 people died in Turkey, more than 7,000 in Syria. The epicenter of the first, with a magnitude of 7.8, was in the Shehitkamil region in Gaziantep (Turkey), Kahramanmarash (Turkey). The damage is estimated at $104 billion.
On February 20, another earthquake happened, this time in the province of Hatay. Turkish media reported that a woman died in Samandag, eight people were injured.
Subsequently, the earthquake was used in the political struggle by former Turkish presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who accused Erdogan of insufficiently active emergency services, violations during construction and related problems.