One third of Istanbul's buildings not ready for expected earthquake

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu warned on Aug. 17, the anniversary of the devastating earthquake of 1999, that one third of all buildings in the metropolis would not be durable in the long-awaited jolt expected to hit the mega city.

Duvar English

At least one out of every three buildings in Istanbul is unprepared to withstand the massive earthquake expected to strike the city, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) noted on Aug. 17, the anniversary of the devastating earthquake of 1999 that claimed over 17,000 lives. 

Speaking at a handover ceremony for Locamahal constructed by KİPTAŞ Construction, İmamoğlu commemorated the lives lost in the devastating earthquake, noting that he remembers the lives lost with great concern.

"Science reminds us that the [great Istanbul earthquake] is upon us. In this sense, the risk and threat maps of Istanbul show us that our inventory is not satisfactory," the mayor said. 

The municipality has been working to detect risky structures in the city, İmamoğlu said, noting that a 2018 report revealed 50,000 buildings would be heavily or very heavily damaged.

"Our efforts in the past year and a half have revealed that unfortunately one third of all buildings in Istanbul wouldn't withstand the earthquake," İmamoğlu said. 

Data shows that heavily damaged buildings could total up to over 130,000 in number, the mayor noted, adding that this would correspond to hundreds of thousands of homes being destroyed. 

Earthquake preparedness should include more than just local government to be effective, the mayor said, urging the government to make the issue a priority.