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Fear is spreading in Istanbul
The two strong quakes in Turkey’s south which killed nearly 50,000 people have given the country’s largest city a real sense of urgency. It is home to more than 10 million people and is located just on the North Anatolian fault line, and analysts predict that it will experience its very own catastrophic quake before 2030.
Roughly 70% of the city’s building structures were constructed prior to rule modifications requiring relatively strict quality and safety standards in 1999, which makes them potentially risky. A study published just a few weeks ago predicted that a quake in this area could kill up to 90,000 people. The struggle for making the city fully prepared has begun.
The Tragedy with Mesut
After Mesut arrived back from Kahramanmara, where he suffered family member deaths, he was evicted from his apartment in Istanbul. Mesut has personal experience with the destruction quakes can wreak. He sat in his now-vacant apartment as he recounted the moment he made the discovery of this situation.
At 4:17 a.m., a family member called, and the commotion alerted us all. A tear rolls down Mesut’s cheek, and he looks away for a moment to gather himself. “The circumstance is truly terrible. It took us three days to travel there [to Kahramanmaras] because of the snowfall, and once we got there, it was extremely challenging. Honestly, I don’t know how to explain it. I hope and pray that nobody else is forced to suffer this.”
Mesut returned to Istanbul to find that the supply of electricity and water to his apartment had been cut off by the city. “That’s why I went and begged for their return: so we could pack up and leave. The extension was for two extra days.”
Even though we had received a formal warning concerning it from the municipal government, the issue was not addressed because the neighbours did not accept the proposal. We had been prepared to evacuate the region because we were aware that our utilities were likely to be switched off, but when the earthquake struck, everything turned into a complete mess.
With over one hundred thousand new programs for construction safety checks have been submitted to the Istanbul municipal council ever since quakes in the south in recent times. The waiting period for one shot has reached as long as three months, now it reached up to four months, and it continues to rise.
Both landlords and renters now can apply, however certain individuals don’t solely due to the cost. The money given to people who have to relocate out of houses that have been shut down is not much. No actual data reveals the number of individuals fail the test.
The town’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, has pledged that emergency crews will get more training and also that temporary housing will be ready for up to four million individuals in case of an earthquake. But many people worry that it’s not enough.
The answer is plain to see on any standard street in Istanbul. Many of the buildings are made in ways that could cause them to fall down if they are put under too much stress during an earthquake.
The Aftershock in Turkey
A large portion of Istanbul’s citizenry is now preoccupied with these issues due to the south’s widespread destruction. That matters two months before crucial parliamentary and presidential races.
Turkey’s economic downturn and the disaster have become citizens’ top concerns overnight. Many disapprove of the government’s actions. Political tremors follow the physical ones.
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