Quake-prone Istanbul not at heightened risk: expert

Since the disaster on February 6 that affected Turkey and Syria, fears of a further large earthquake have returned to Istanbul, but a renowned Turkish seismologist has reassured residents that the danger “hasn’t increased.”

“The risk hasn’t increased because we are talking about completely different systems,” Dogan Kalafat, the director of the Kandilli Observatory’s Earthquake-Tsunami Monitoring Center in Istanbul, told AFP.

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According to Kalafat, the most populous city in Turkey is located close to the North Anatolian Fault, and the recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed 43,500 people happened along a different fault in the southeast of the nation.

Nevertheless, Istanbul’s 16 million inhabitants, a metropolis that spans two continents and has seen skyscrapers spring up recently, are unsure of whether they are prepared for the “Big One.”

“I’d like to say it, but sadly, it’s a very big city with too many poorly constructed buildings,” said Kalafat, who has denounced using low-quality cement and building on “soft soils”.

While awaiting a significant earthquake, “We must utilize this time wisely. On stable ground, we must construct earthquake-resistant homes. The most crucial safety measure to adopt is this “Seismologist emphasized.

Every eight hours, seismologists at the observatory alternately observe a number of computer screens that are used to track potential tremors.

A huge screen in front of them displays real-time readings from 260 seismic stations located all over the nation on a wall that is at least five meters (16 feet) tall.

Since February 6, there have been 9,000 aftershocks in Turkey, which is more than “seven or eight times average,” according to Kalafat.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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