The Chamber Of Civil Engineers (TMMOB) Istanbul Branch has warned that at least 10 million Istanbulities live in unsecure buildings and that the Turkish government has done very little to improve government structures and schools since the 17 August 1999 Marmara Earthquake.
The earthquake in which more than 17 000 people were killed 20 years ago is the biggest natural disaster in Turkish history.
TMMOB Istanbul Chairman Nusret Suna criticised the Turkish government saying that not much has been done as government buildings and schools are still not strong enough to sustain against a possible earthquake.
Suna said that very few government offices are strengthened and students are in big danger as education buildings are not earthquake resistant.
“1135 school buildings, 115 health buildings, 38 dormitories have been strengthened against earthquake. However, there are 6127 school buildings, 190 hospitals, 300 dormitory buildings in Istanbul and large [number] of buildings stand very weak against earthquake risks,” Suna said referring to the Istanbul Project Coordination Unit’s online data.
10 million people live in unsafe buildings
Suna warned that around 10 million people live in houses without earthquake safety and that a possible earthquake will destroy tens of thousands of buildings and risk hundreds of thousands of lives.
Suna claimed that municipalities allow unsafe construction through “urban transformation” and “zoning forgiveness” as 20 million buildings in Istanbul have no licenses.
“We think that there are almost two million buildings and residences in Istanbul. We have shown that 50 percent of the buildings have no licenses. We can say that around 20 million people live in Istanbul and half of the population are under risk,” Suna told Turkish T24 online news portal.