Buoys connected to Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory's earthquake monitoring equipment in the Marmara Sea were stolen five years ago, the daily Milliyet reported on Feb. 4.
The buoys marked the connection of fiber optic cables that run along the seabed to the measurement equipment, crucially located to measure any activity that could indicate the long-awaited, disastrous Istanbul earthquake.
"The 30,000-lira buoys were stolen five years ago, they haven't been found since," said Kandilli Observatory employee Dr. Doğan Kalafat. "If anyone knows the whereabouts of 2.5-meter, reflective buoys, let us know."
The measurement equipment is also damaged by fishing ships, leaving behind only one of five of their stations to work with for the past six years, Kalafat said.
"The system collected data from all stations in real time in a central system. Despite all our warnings, the uneducated fishing ships destroyed the cables, forcing us to resort to longer-period data collection," Kalafat noted.
Kandilli Observatory is one of the most reliable sources of earthquake data in Turkey, and functions under Boğaziçi University.