Earthquake Research Institute Director lists provinces safest from earthquakes
Professor Haluk Ozener stated regarding the seismicity of Maras and its surrounding areas, "From a scientific perspective, the time required for another earthquake of the same magnitude to occur at the location where 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes have previously happened is on the order of centuries. In fact, the safest places for the next few centuries are the places where earthquakes have already occurred.”
Professor Haluk Ozener, Director of Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, visited the province of Kayseri to participate in various programs where he highlighted the significant impact of the earthquakes that occurred in the Pazarcik and Elbistan districts of Maras on February 6.
Ozener emphasized that the earthquakes have caused significant loss of life and property, and despite two months having passed, aftershocks are still ongoing. Referring to the fact that the number of aftershocks has exceeded 22,000 since February 6, Ozener mentioned that aftershocks can continue for months but do gradually decrease over time.
Ozener underlined the importance of heeding previously issued warnings and not entering heavily or moderately damaged buildings due to risks posed by the aftershocks.
"THERE IS NOT MUCH MEANING IN LEAVING THE REGION"
Ozener emphasized the importance of understanding the psychology of earthquake survivors and stated the following:
"The psychology of those who experience earthquakes firsthand is very different. From a scientific perspective, the time required for another earthquake of the same magnitude to occur in the location where earthquakes of magnitudes 7.7 and 7.6 have occurred is on the order of centuries. In fact, the safest places for the next few centuries are the areas where earthquakes have occurred. Therefore, it would be more prudent for citizens to look at this aspect of the situation with a calmer perspective. There is not much meaning in leaving that region. On the contrary, settling in the region that is the epicenter of the earthquake for the next centuries would be much healthier."
Regarding the evaluation of the Marmara Region, Ozener stated:
"Hundreds of earthquakes occur in the region every year. There have been hundreds of earthquakes at magnitudes of 1, 2, and 3, and there will continue to be. As many scientists have previously stated, there is a potential for an earthquake above magnitude 7 in the Marmara region, but we cannot predict when it will happen. It could happen while we are conducting this interview, or it could happen in 5, 10, or even 30 years from now."
Ozener emphasized that both citizens and decision-makers need to be prepared for earthquakes at all times.
"A HORIZONTAL URBANIZATION MODEL SHOULD BE PREFERRED"
Regarding housing and other structures in cities affected by earthquakes, Professor Haluk Ozener stated the following:
"In earthquake-prone areas, the selection of locations and the construction of appropriate foundations is crucial for new buildings. Horizontal urbanization models should be preferred whenever possible. Construction should never start without conducting a thorough soil investigation for new buildings. Settlements should be relocated considering fault lines. Buildings and other structures should be constructed using earthquake-resistant and durable materials, and building inspection should be widely and strictly enforced. Even if construction projects comply with earthquake regulations, construction errors made during implementation can lead to loss of life and property. Therefore, from construction workers to apprentices and craftsmen, everyone should undergo training. Awareness about earthquakes should be increased, and certification should be required."
Emphasizing the importance of urban transformation, Ozener added that being prepared for earthquakes would result in fewer casualties and less property damage.