Ten years after a 1999 earthquake in İzmit killed over 17,000 people, the Turkish government established the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) to help cope in the face of natural disasters. The government also pledged new construction standards and a plan to strengthen existing buildings.
The plan involved designating hundreds of urban spaces as evacuation points in case of emergency. But, over the years, an explosion of new developments undid many of the planned earthquake readiness improvements, and open-air evacuation zones were converted into high rises, NPR reported in 2017.
At the end of 2022, following a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, Turkey’s Union of Engineers and Architects released a statement saying that Turkey “has failed in terms of what needs to be done before the earthquake.”
Original Article from Time Magazine. Photo by Sertac Kayar—Reuters