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Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that a horrific 7.5-magnitude earthquake is expected for Istanbul, the country’s most crowded metropolis.

“We’re expecting a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Istanbul. We’re seriously working on the scenario of an expected potential 7.5-magnitude quake,” Soylu said on a live CNN Türk broadcast.

Soylu is referring to the expected ‘Great Istanbul Quake’ that’s expected to cause massive damage.

Turkey witnessed a 7.6-magnitude quake in the western city of Kocaeli on August 17, 1999 that killed more than 17,000 people and left behind approximately $2.5 million dollars worth of material damage.

Two decades later, the quake of ’99 remains a national trauma.

 The quake of ’99 also caused massive flooding.

Soylu noted that the Interior Ministry has formed 28 work groups to assess plans for the aftermath of a potential earthquake in Istanbul.

“This is a complex study of everything from how to protect the treasures in Topkapı Palace to our citizens’ needs at earthquake meeting points,” Soylu added.

An application to ensure communication during an earthquake is being developed by Turkey’s four largest phone operators.

“We will install this on all phones. If possible, this application will be on all phones automatically,” Soylu said. 

Monetary aid

Soylu also noted that the owners of heavily damaged homes and those that have been demolished will receive monetary aid both in terms of rent pensions and lump sum payments.

“Heavily damaged homes that will be demolished will receive 30,000 lira, and urgent rent pensions of 11,000 will be given out for a total of 41,000 lira,” Soylu said.

Owners of homes that have crumbled in villages will be compensated 16,000 lira, Soylu added.