Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Seeing these images this morning makes me weep.

But they also make me very angry. The experts give constant warnings of impending earthquakes, but this bloody Government do nothing about it. It's just too late to talk about it after the event. Have they learned nothing from the disaster of 1999, when 18,000 people lost their lives?

This from Todays Zaman this morning:

"The high death toll from the quake is considered by many to be due to the construction of adobe buildings, which is prevalent in the region. Speaking at a meeting held at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his grief over the Elazığ quake. “Those we have lost are the cause of our worst grief. Adobe-style construction is the architectural style of the region.

Unfortunately, the price of this style has been very high for Turkey,” he said. The prime minister also said he instructed the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) to launch a project to reconstruct the region. “I ask our citizens in the region not to enter damaged houses since aftershocks are continuing,” he added, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims.

Erdik also said yesterday that the quake was not that strong relative to the potential strength of an earthquake in the region. He said the area where the quake occurred was at the intersection of Turkey’s two major fault lines, the North Anatolian fault and the East Anatolian fault.

Many experts also said a high-magnitude quake has long been expected along the East Anatolian fault line and complained that their warnings had been ignored.
Professor Naci Görür from İstanbul Technical University’s (İTÜ) mining engineering department said the area Elazığ is located in is earthquake prone. “This was discussed in recent meetings. However, I saw that our people are not well-informed about quakes. Our people and administrators are not taking warnings seriously,” he said.

Professor Mehmet Önal from the Malatya-based İnönü University also told the Anatolia news agency that 25 foreshocks had been reported in the last 20 days. He said yesterday’s was the major quake, saying it is not possible to determine whether another major quake will follow the aftershocks.

Another professor at İTÜ’s Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Okan Tüysüz, said a magnitude 6 earthquake should not have resulted in such high death toll. “The buildings in Turkey are unfortunately not prepared for quakes. A magnitude 6 quake does not even damage buildings in a developed country,” he added"


  1. These pictures have me in tears. I so understand what you mean :(

  2. Oh Ayak, there must be equal grief and anger amongst everyone. It seems it was all so avoidable if only people had listened to the experts.

    Those little bodies are just tragic. How do people come to terms with all this?

  3. I remember being on the phone with my Father, who still lived in Palm Desert and I was at home in San Diego, 83 miles away as the crow flies. During the conversation, he suddenly said, 'We're having and earthquake! Wow, it's a biggie! Hold on, let me stand in the doorway!' and we continued the call, him remarking that it was quite strong, the cabinet doors in the kitchen had swung open. Then, within a minute or so, I felt the familiar rolling sensation, like someone is repeatedly slamming a garage door, and said, 'It's here now, Dad!' as I too jumped up and stood in a doorway. That one was 6.1 at the epicentre, near Joshua Tree, so less than 28 miles from my Parent's home.

    Allow me to quote, "Preceeded by a magnitude 4.6 foreshock -- which, by itself, caused a stir -- the Joshua Tree earthquake raised some alarms due to its proximity to the San Andreas fault. A San Andreas Hazard Level B was declared following this quake, meaning that a 5 to 25% chance existed for an even larger earthquake happening along the San Andreas fault within 3 days. That never happened, of course, but roughly two months and 6000 aftershocks later, the Landers earthquake broke the surface of the Mojave in the largest quake to hit southern California in 40 years, showing that the concern caused by the Joshua Tree earthquake was warranted, though not in quite the same way as anticipated."

    So, they had notice before this earthquake in Turkey with foreshocks, and yet did nothing? Criminal. And the aftershocks can go on for months...

    Oh, and the damage experienced by my Parents that day? Note a stronger quake than the one in Turkey that caused such widespread damage and loss of life... My Father had to go close the kitchen cabinets. And the dog's water dish sloshed out on the floor.

    (I'm sorry this was so long but I am incensed.)

  4. Mel: It's hard not to cry.

    FF: God knows how they come to terms with it. They probably never do. This is all so unnecessary.

    Kitty: Your story says it all. Don't apologise for making a long's welcome. And I too am incensed.

  5. Ayak, of course bloody governments do nothing about potential risk to ordinary people...ordinary people, the family of that child, just don't count for anything and these tragedies are the proof.

    Mealy mouthed statements of sympathy don't cut the mustard...the state has money for all sorts of wasteful and harmful projects, but none for a programme of safe building.

    Look at the floods in France...who allowed speculators to build houses on low lying land behind sea walls?
    You can hear the 'whoosh' of the buck being passed......

    Earthquakes can't be controlled, but building regulations can be laid down and enforced.....if ordinary people mattered.

  6. It amazes me that lessons were not learned since 1999. The government is to blame, but blame does nothing to help these poor, mostly rural families to rebuild their lives. They talked about building regulations back then, and they are still talking about it now. It's a huge shame and I hate to think what will happen if the Big One hits Istanbul. It scares me to no end.

  7. Fly: "..if ordinary people mattered..." and that's the point isn't it? They don't!

    Renai: Oh you must know what this government is like by now? All talk and no action..nothing changes. Have you checked your building regulations by the way? It's worth getting checked, fact have it checked by three independent surveyors? In theory all buildings erected since 1999 should be earthquake-proof...but you probably know as well as I do that a few backhanders here and there have enabled lots of regs to be passed when they most certainly shouldn't have.

  8. This just makes me think of England, and how nothing happened with sanitation until Albert died.

    Maybe things would be different today if the 1999 quake had claimed the lives of the children of those making the laws, eh?

  9. So sad, sorry I havent commented on it before. xx

  10. Kitty: You probably have a point there!

    Bombshellicious: Dont't don't always have to comment you know. Anyway you had other things on your mind yesterday xxx

  11. It's just so horrific.
    There seems to be so many natural disasters recently, one after the other.
    Those poor parents carrying the children...

  12. Monalisa: Heartbreaking isn't it?


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