After the earthquake in 1999, we had experienced the earthquake in the province of Van in 2011, and then our obligation to prevent loss of life due to the Izmir Earthquake again came to the agenda despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 70% of the people in our country live on fault lines. A serious break is expected in the Marmara fault in the coming years. As a result of this break, an earthquake with a power of approximately 7.5 may occur. Those living in Istanbul and the Marmara Region are under serious threat. We also need to prepare ourselves in line with scientific opinions.
Yet, there is no system to prevent the earthquake, but we have to prevent the damages of the earthquake. The first thing to do is to receive training on what to do during the earthquake, the second is that the people who live and work in red areas that will be impacted the most should firstly fix the items in their homes and workplaces. These do not require any financial cost. The third is to ensure that the transportation and communication system, which imposes a financial burden on the state, can operate in the event of an earthquake. Most of them were made. Fourth, to ensure that infrastructure and public buildings such as roads, bridges, viaducts, power lines, drinking water, sewage are earthquake resistant. These works have also been mostly completed by the State in the last two decades, and the rest is being worked on.
The last task for citizens is to prepare their houses and dwellings against earthquakes. According to the recent determinations, half of the houses and workplaces that were built according to the Earthquake Regulation before 2007 require to be reinforced. 2/3 of these buildings will be demolished and half of them can be renovated.
The state initiated an action program called urban transformation in 2012, subsidizing many expenses for those who want to demolish and rebuild their homes, namely, it gave up taxes, provides rent allowance, and gives loans. About one million houses have been renovated so far, as a result of this campaign. However, another 5-6 million dwellings and workplaces need to be renewed.
To prevent the destruction of their houses in an earthquake, my brothers who live in the buildings that were constructed before 2007 should first investigate the possibility of reinforcing their buildings. Nowadays, there are such technologies and materials that you can reinforce it in just a few months as if you have your home reconstructed by a good engineer.
The last alternative and the most costly one is to demolish the rotten house and rebuild it in 1-2 years. If it is not possible to make reinforcement in the building, then it is necessary to use some credit with the support of urban transformation, exert contractor’s influence over and quickly demolish the building, and rebuild it.
For these reasons, my call for our people is that, do not live or work in weak buildings. Reinforce your building or rebuild them by utilizing many advantages of urban