Reinforced building in Hatay survives major quakes
A building in southern Hatay province, which was strengthened with carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in 2009 as part of an academic project, survived two major earthquakes on Feb. 6. On the other hand, the not-reinforced building with the same structure of the reinforced building collapsed.
Ogün Akkaya / DUVAR
A building strengthened with carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in 2009 as part of an academic project in southern Hatay’s Antakya district did not collapse during two major earthquakes that shook Turkey on Feb. 6.
Manager of the project Prof. Güney Özcebe told Gazete Duvar about the implementation of the project.
Özcebe said it was the master thesis project of Mustafa Tümer Tan, from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), to reinforce the 9-story building. The project was supported by NATO and Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK).
Özcebe said that after the great destruction caused by the 1999 earthquake in the Marmara region, the team of the project set off with the question of "What can we do?".
"We have made an effort so that people would not remain under the rubble of these structures,” Özcebe said, explaining the aim of the project.
“The main aim was to keep people in their places as much as possible, without evacuating them from their homes. If you say to the residents, 'I will reinforce your building, but stay in another place for a few months,' there is neither the power nor the opportunity to do so. We repaired a building in Antakya, which was on the eve of collapse under normal conditions, without removing its residents and even spending time with them. All the people inside the building survived the earthquake,” Özcebe said.
“This has been my highest level of comfort in my professional life. The fact that every person in the building is still alive (after the quake) is the greatest award an academic can receive,” he added.
The not-reinforced building with the same structure of the reinforced building collapsed due to the quake.
Prof. Özcebe also said the technology they used to reinforce the building was expensive back in 2009, adding “The project took place in only one building. Our goal was to show that it can be done.”
He added there may be financial impossibilities for local governments to implement the project on a wider scale.
(English version by Alperen Şen)