Geologists warn of new earthquake threat in Turkey

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15:55, 01.03.2023

Preparedness for a major earthquake in the northwestern Marmara Sea region around Istanbul will be key issues in the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June in Turkey.

Geologists are warning of another potentially devastating earthquake to hit Turkey's industrial northwest, Euractiv writes.

The Feb. 6 earthquake caused about $34 billion in physical damage, but the total cost of reconstruction and rehabilitation could be double that, according to World Bank estimates.

If Istanbul were to experience tremors similar to February's quake, it could cause havoc.

This is Turkey's industrial hub. such widespread destruction here could have far more serious consequences that could lead to the country's collapse," said Buğra Gökçe, deputy secretary general of Istanbul's opposition municipality.

Turkey sits on several active fault lines, making it vulnerable to strong earthquakes. A branch of the North Anatolian fault runs through the Sea of Marmara south of Istanbul. Experts say the focus should be on Istanbul's preparedness for a major earthquake, which has been the subject of periodic public debate since the 1999 disaster.

A wave of urbanisation has swept Istanbul since 1999, much of it during Erdogan's rule. In 2018, the government introduced a so-called zonal amnesty across Turkey to legalise unregistered construction work. Engineers and architects warn that illegal constructions could endanger lives. The government has denied criticism that it has systematically ignored safety standards.

Seismic activity continues to be recorded in Turkey. On 28 February, a new 4-ball earthquake was recorded.

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