59 percent of Istanbul residents do not trust quake resilience of their houses, survey finds

Some 59 percent of Istanbul residents do not trust the earthquake resilience of their houses, as a quake with a magnitude above 7 is expected to hit the megacity in the near future. Some 42 percent of Istanbul residents, on the other hand, believe that their houses would collapse in such a quake, according to the survey.

Duvar English

Some 59 percent of Istanbul residents find their buildings risky and do not “trust” them in case of an earthquake, according to a survey conducted by Sonar Araştırma (Sonar Research).

Asked if they “trust their house, the structure they live in for an earthquake that will occur in Istanbul,” 41.2 percent of survey participants said “No, I don’t trust it,” whereas 18 percent said “I don’t trust it a lot,” which corresponds to 59.2 percent in total.

The survey was conducted with 3,704 people residing in the megacity after two major earthquakes hit the country’s southeastern region on Feb. 6, prompting fresh concerns about the expected quake in Istanbul.

Some 91 percent of the participants said that they were aware that an earthquake with a magnitude above 7 was soon hit the city, while 7.4 percent they “did not know,” while 1.3 percent “I have no idea” and 0.3 percent did not answer the question.

The participants were also asked, “If an earthquake happens in Istanbul, would your house/building endure it or collapse?” Some 41.9 percent said, “it would not endure it and would collapse,” while 37 percent said, “it would not collapse,” 15.4 percent said they “do not know” and 5.7 percent did not indicate an answer.

Some 89.3 percent said they were “scared” with regards to the expected major earthquake in the megacity, while 8.7 percent said they “were not scared.” Two percent said, they “don’t feel anything.”

Some 21.7 percent said they had prepared an “earthquake bag” in case they had to quickly run away from their house should a quake hit. The remaining 78.3 percent said they don’t yet have such a bag, but with 41.4 percent expressing determination to have plans to prepare it.

The long-awaited earthquake is expected to create massive material devastation in Istanbul, and experts often note that the construction in the metropolis is unlikely to be prepared for the quake.

According to Professor Doğan Kalafat, manager of the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute's Regional Earthquake-Tsunami Tracking Center, such a quake will hit Istanbul in the upcoming seven years at a probability of 64 percent. 

On Feb. 15, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu warned that 90,000 buildings in the city have a risk of entirely collapsing in a possible major quake.