A prominent Turkish geologist said several of Istanbul's districts were categorised as at "first-degree risk" in a new earthquake hazard map issued by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reports.
“Some coastal districts, including Bağcılar, Bahçelievler, Bayrampaşa, Beşiktaş, Beykoz, Beyoğlu, Büyükçekmece and Çatalca side have been upgraded from being at second-degree risk to first-degree risk,” said Bülent Özmen, a researcher from Gazi University's Earthquake Engineering Research Centre. Özmen said: “new ground acceleration coefficients, which are used for seismic calculations of buildings, were assigned for each district depending on their distance to the fault line.”
In the early hours of August 17, 1999, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale in the North Anatolian fault near Izmit, killed more than 17,000 people, and left half a million homeless across the region.
Critics say that preparations for a large earthquake remain wholly inadequate, despite the establishment of AFAD, and the adoption of stricter regulations since the Izmit quake, which was the second deadliest in Turkey’s history. Lax construction standards across the country, in addition to the alleged ill-preparedness of the emergency services, remain a source of serious concern to disaster planners.
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