Istanbul to be hit by major quake in next 7 years with 64% chance, Kandilli Observatory professor warns

Istanbul will be hit by an earthquake with a magnitude above 7.0 in the upcoming seven years at a probability of 64 percent, according to Professor Doğan Kalafat, manager of the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute's Regional Earthquake-Tsunami Tracking Center.

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Prof. Dr. Doğan Kalafat, director of Kandilli Observatory’s Regional Earthquake-Tsunami Tracking Center, has said that the probability of an earthquake with a magnitude above 7.0 to hit Istanbul until the year 2030 is 64 percent.

Kalafat’s comments came as the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes prompted fresh worries about the safety of structures in Istanbul. Thousands of people died in poorly built houses in Turkey’s southeastern region following two major earthquakes on Feb. 6. As the government is vowing a fast recovery to the region, attention is also focusing on Istanbul as experts have been for years warning about a major quake to hit the megacity in the near future.

Kalafat also warned about a new earthquake “at the middle region of the North Anatolian Fault Line.” “But there will be one centered at the Marmara Sea. The danger of this is known. This is a line going through the Marmara Sea. This line will produce an earthquake above (a magnitude of) 7.0. The place of this is known, but it is not possible to say when. All we can do is (to conduct) statistical analysis. And this (suggests) that this earthquake will happen with a probability of 64 percent until 2030, 75 percent until 2050, 95 percent until 2090,” he told Haber Global broadcaster on Feb. 21.

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. 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.