Mousetrap in Istanbul earthquake

MagnitudeDrill in hand, he asks his partner to step aside while he puts on his glasses because the crumbs concrete. Upon this, Kadir looks at the truth: when the machine is at full power, the engineer starts to break the wall. He doesn’t care about it and doesn’t try to make a clean and precise hole in it.

The aim is to remove the paint and plaster and reach the concrete. Explore and strip and once you’re there, now yes, be more precise in your work. “What we’re trying to do is a building foundation strength test and then we will learn about the life of this concrete with a transformation” explains Kadir, as this building is one of the tens of thousands that should be evaluated throughout Istanbul in the coming months, so its time is valuable, the city with a population of 17 million.

Thereupon, the man takes care of his business with a few words: Kadir steps on the concrete with a meter and makes calculations. “43 centimeters. 24 centimeters. 81 centimeters,” he says to his pointing partner. “These calculations, correlated with the age of the building, will help us know the quality and durability of the concrete,” explains the engineer. This is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

historical horror

Istanbulites have always lived with a certain fear, and above all 1999 İzmit earthquakefor which one 17,000 people died near the big Turkish metropolis. When someone wants to buy or rent a new flat, the questions are always the same: “Is this construction before or after the earthquake? Do you have all the permits?” -Istanbullike Los Angeles, San Francisco, Lima, Tehran and TokyoIt is one of the cities that live under. the threat of prophecy -always a little far- big earthquake.

But the shock in southeast Turkey last month changed everything. With the death toll of 54 thousand on the table between Turkey and Syria, fear was reborn. Istanbul, millennial cityNow she is afraid of herself.

silent neighbors

“We started a project in 2020. predictions In case of different earthquake scenarios, we launched an initiative to examine the state of the city’s buildings, starting with the oldest. We got permission to enter within two years. 27,000 homes“, To explain Keep Longinghead seismic risk management department city ​​council and it was hard to get before because permissions from neighbors most of them did not want it, they did not see the need.

Now everything has changed. “In the month we followed the earthquake in the southeast, we received 140,000 requests. The earthquake affected people a lot. We’re trying to organize our teams and we’re a bit overwhelmed, but our goal is renovate and make istanbul safe as soon as possible. This is what we want,” explains Tut.

danger at home

TurkeyIt is located in an abundant area. tectonic activityIt is crossed by two faults that cut the country from east to west. It was the south fault that caused the earthquake last month; just past the north bosphorus cityHe is the person who prophesied that there would be a great earthquake in Istanbul.

“The numbers for the earthquake we’re experiencing are very harsh and truly frightening. In the event of a shock of the same magnitude in Istanbul… I doubt the outcome would be different. Unfortunately, the data we have is very poor”, explains Tut, whose department has predicted 90,000 city buildings at very high risk collapse in an earthquake 7.5 on the Richter scale.

“These are apartments and old houses with four or five floors,” Tut says. This numbers and predictions frightened: Let’s say 20 people live in each of these buildings, which means: two million people they are at risk of collapsing on their walls in a major earthquake.

And for many, the dilemma is huge: with high inflation in Turkey, few people can afford to leave their current homes and move into better-conditioned buildings if they prove to be insecure.

“After our inspections, our job is to recommend it to the neighbors. strengthening the foundations wave demolition the whole building, in case it really isn’t safe. But we cannot do more. The decision is in his hands”Hold explains.

Kadir and his partner finish and leave. They will get the results in a few days. But time is running out: there are tens of thousands of homes still awaiting inspection.

Source: Informacion


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