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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria – Why so many collapsed buildings?

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In Turkey and Syria, thousands of buildings collapsed in two earthquakes, killing more than 33,000 people according to the latest estimates and injuring more than 66,000. The innumerable damages caused by these earthquakes raise questions.

In Japan, which has more earthquakes than any other place on earth with about 1500 per year, the last one in March 2022, with a magnitude of 7.3, killed 4 people and injured about 100.

In Syria after more than a decade of war with bombing and a non-existent civilian government, it is hardly surprising that buildings have collapsed. But in Turkey one would have hoped that after the 1999 earthquake, seismic standards would have been scrupulously followed.

Indeed, from 2000 onwards, the Turkish authorities had multiplied risk prevention measures: they created the AFAD, set up hospitals capable of withstanding violent tremors and provided mechanisms for the automatic cutting of gas networks. And in recent years, Turkey has experienced tremendous growth in the construction industry. Thanks to massive investment and support from the Turkish government, the sector has grown exponentially. This has resulted in a proliferation of housing projects, office buildings and manufacturing plants.

But standards are so poorly enforced that even the most recent buildings do not necessarily comply with the regulations. In addition, some builders have used poor quality materials, and checks on the earthquake resistance of buildings have been insufficient and carried out by private companies.

This negligence and greed of some builders has been denounced since Monday by a angry population and the Turkish media.

On Friday, the developer of a luxury 250-unit apartment building with a swimming pool in the southern province of Hatay was arrested at Istanbul airport as he tried to flee with a large sum of money on him. The tower he had built collapsed completely on its inhabitants in the earthquake.

Le ministère turc de la Justice a ordonné aux procureurs des dix provinces d’ouvrir des “bureaux d’enquête sur les crimes liés aux tremblements de terre”.

“Les enquêtes à propos des bâtiments effondrés sont en cours. Les responsables seront désignés et devront rendre comptes devant la justice”, a prévenu vendredi le ministre turc de la Justice, Bekir Bozdag.

Aussi, en Turquie, 48 personnes ont été arrêtées pour pillage dans huit provinces sinistrées. Ils ont été placés en détention dans le cadre d’enquêtes sur les pillages commis après le tremblement de terre.

Translation of the tweet
Under this tweet, I will list the people responsible for the buildings that were destroyed in the earthquake, that were destroyed in three seconds and became graves for people because they were made inappropriately even though they were new.
1-) Hasan Can Alpargün, the owner of the 14-storey Alpargün apartment in Adana, from which almost no one survived.
2-) Güçlü Bahçe City, built by Servet Altaş, the owner of Ser-Al İnşaat company, which has done many constructions in Hatay, was destroyed in the earthquake. Luxury apartments were said to be earthquake resistant and sold for 2 million 900 thousand TL. The ads were removed after the earthquake.
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