It has come to light that an academic working at Hatay University had back in 2020 penned a report in which he forecasted a widespread destruction in the province in a potential earthquake at a magnitude of 7.5.
Ali Utku Şahin’s report had forecasted that 57,475 buildings would have been damaged, 52,133 buildings would have collapsed and 30,000 people would have lost their lives if such a quake hits the province, according to reporting by online news outlet Gerçek Gündem.
The report had urged a revaluation of Turkey’s “Disaster Intervention Plan” in the light of this information and emphasized the necessity of the existence of a “long-term national strategy and a new legal infrastructure that supports this strategy.”
A similar report was penned by the Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) again in 2020 for another quake-hit province Kahramanmaraş. AFAD had said in its report that Kahramanmaraş residents “were not aware of an earthquake danger since the region is going through a very long (seismic) stillness.”
AFAD had also urged an immediate evacuation of the structures in the “dangerous zones.” “For the area selection of new villages and cities, the earthquake activity and threat should be necessarily taken into account,” it had said.
Both Hatay and Kahramanmaraş have been severely affected by the earthquakes of last week, seeing thousands of buildings demolished and witnessing the death of thousands of people.
Turkey's southeastern region was struck by two major earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at the magnitude of 7.7 and the other 7.6. As of Feb. 13 morning, the death toll from the devastating quakes rose to 31,643, with the number of injured standing as 80,278.