Tens of thousands of people were murdered by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey's southeast, reigniting concerns of an even more horrific death toll if one strikes Istanbul. By 2030, an enormous earthquake that might kill 20 million people is predicted to strike Turkey's largest metropolis, which now has a population of 16 million. The heavily populated city is located on the northern edge of one of Turkey's major fault lines. Almost 17,000 people perished in a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the city's eastern fringes in 1999. Since then, the population of Istanbul has almost doubled. Murat Guney, an independent urban expert, claimed that if the government has the political will to transfer people from the subpar structures that dominate the city's shanty settlements, slaughter may be prevented.Istanbul, according to Guney, has a plentiful supply of unoccupied homes that were recently built and robust enough to resist significant jolts. He warned that procrastination may mean death. "A significant earthquake with a magnitude of up to 7.5 is anticipated in Istanbul." According to estimations, 50,000 to 200,000 structures will completely collapse or sustain significant damage as a result of such an earthquake, according to Guney, speaking to AFP. Before they fell even after a little earthquake, such high-risk structures, which are primarily squatter type and not earthquake resistant, needed quick change.
A sliver of good news
More than 38,000 people in southeast Turkey and about 3,700 in neighbouring Syria perished in the earthquake on February 6. More than 55,000 structures, according to officials, were either levelled or irreparably damaged. Its effects were felt over a region of Turkey that had a population similar to Istanbul. Guney estimated that Istanbul has 1,166,000 residential structures. According to him, "of these, 817,000 structures (70 percent) were built before the 1999 earthquake, when there were no construction checks for earthquake resilience." But, there was some good news: according to Guney, Istanbul has 150,000 earthquake-resistant homes built after 2008 that were remained vacant.
These are either the second or third residences of the wealthy, who don't bother to rent such flats, or they belong to building businesses that are waiting for clients, according to Guney. Any more building in Istanbul is unnecessary, he claimed. "There are enough vacant buildings for those who reside in high-risk structures to move in. But, the government has never made such a political choice. The government enacted a unique tax in response to the 1999 earthquake, which came to be known as the "earthquake tax." The funds were intended to aid in making Turkish cities earthquake-resistant. Guney said that the tax money "was not utilised effectively and responsibly." Further government costs were paid for using the proceeds of that special tax.There is no published breakdown of how that money was used by the Turkish government. According to Guney, the bulk of the high-risk structures have not yet been covered by an urban transformation project.
After Turkey Tragedy, Experts Renew Alarm For Similar Quake In Istanbul
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