2.5 million people will face danger of death in expected major Istanbul quake, veteran seismologist warns

Veteran seismologist Prof. Naci Görür has said that 2.5 million people in Istanbul will face the danger of death in the long-awaited earthquake which is expected to have a magnitude above 7.

Duvar English

Prof. Naci Görür, a well-known professor of geology, said that 2.5 million people living in Istanbul will face the danger of death in a devastating earthquake that's ever-feared to hit Istanbul.

“The expected earthquake in Istanbul will have a magnitude between 7.2 and 7.6. If this earthquake happens, it will do more damage than the Feb.6 earthquakes. Even if two houses collapse on the street, forget about (that place). You can neither help nor save. 600,000 houses (are in danger), think of four people in each house. 2.5 million people will face death. The death toll would be unbelievable. It does not befit the Republic of Turkey that so many people die in an earthquake,” Görür told Habertürk TV on Aug. 5.

Görür said we should not focus only on Istanbul -home to 16 million people- because the quake will affect the whole Marmara Region. “The earthquake will happen in the Marmara Sea. The width of the affected area varies from the magnitude of the earthquake, to the ground, to the building stock.”

Görür noted that Istanbul could have been prepared for an earthquake in 24 years since the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in 1999 that killed over 17,000 people in the Marmara region. “However, in its current state, Istanbul is not ready for an earthquake.”

“We need to make the entire infrastructure of Istanbul earthquake resistant. Infrastructure is the road, bridge, viaduct, sewerage work, drinking water network. We saw what happened to 10 cities in the Feb. 6 earthquakes,” Görür added.

“We had been saying for years that an earthquake would come to Elazığ. The people of Elazığ were not aware of this. They learned it when the earthquake happened. We told local governments and central governments that there may be an earthquake in Kahramanmaraş as well. No serious action was taken. We lost more than 50,000 of our people in one night (in the Feb. 6 quakes). Such casualties do not suit the current state of science,” he also said

Experts have been waiting for a major earthquake with a magnitude above 7 to hit Istanbul in the near future. The long-awaited earthquake is expected to create massive material devastation in the city, and experts often note that the construction in the metropolis is unlikely to be prepared for the quake.