The Storiest

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Buildings that should not have collapsed during the earthquake in Turkey

There is growing outrage in Turkey over the fact that poor enforcement of regulations contributed to the collapse of many buildings during Monday’s earthquakes.

The BBC has confirmed cases of collapse of newly built buildings.

The building in Malatya (see below) was completed last year, and screenshots of an advertisement circulating on the Internet said it was “Finished to the latest anti-seismic standards.”

The text said that the materials used and the workmanship were “first class”.

There is no longer a trace of this announcement, but several people took photos and videos and posted them on the Internet. The ad matches the style of other similar ads on the company’s website.

Another newly built apartment building in the port city of Iskenderun has also been photographed and appears to be largely destroyed.

Before and after: new building in Iskanderun.

The building’s construction company released an image showing it was completed in 2019.

The BBC has confirmed that the image of the collapsed building (right) matches the block company’s publicity photo (left).

Another building that opened in Antakya in 2019 can also be seen destroyed in the BBC-confirmed image.

We found a video of the opening ceremony of the residential complex from November 2019, in which the owner of the construction company says: “The urban project Guclu Bahce is special compared to others due to its location and quality of construction.”

Although the earthquakes were powerful, experts say that buildings built Right they had to get up.

“The peak intensity of this earthquake was strong, but not necessarily strong enough to destroy well-constructed buildings,” said David Alexander, professor of emergency planning and management at University College London.

“In most places, the shaking level was less than the maximum, so we can conclude that out of the thousands of collapsed buildings, almost all do not comply with any reasonably expected seismic building code“.

Violation of building codes

Building codes have been tightened in Turkey following previous natural disasters, including the latest in 2018.

Stricter safety regulations were also introduced after the 1999 earthquake around the northwestern city of Izmit, which killed 17,000 people.

The latest standards require that high-quality concrete reinforced with steel rods is used in the construction of earthquake-prone areas. Columns and beams must also be distributed in such a way that they effectively dampen the impact of earthquakes.

Collapsed buildings in Hatay, Turkey

Getty Images
More than 50% of buildings in Turkey were built in violation of building codes.

However, these laws were misapplied.

“Part of the problem is that there is very little adaptation of existing buildings, but also very little building code compliance in new buildings,” Professor Alexander assured.

The government has periodically granted “building amnesties”—in practice, legal fee relief—to structures built without the necessary safety certificates. They have been approved since the 1960s (last in 2018).

Critics have long warned that such amnesties pose a catastrophic risk in the event of a strong earthquake.

A group of people look at their destroyed apartment building.

Getty Images
“Building amnesties” pose a catastrophic risk in the event of a major earthquake.

Up to 75,000 buildings in the earthquake-hit area in southern Turkey received a building amnesty, According to Pelin Pinar Giritlioglu, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners of the Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects of Turkey.

Days before the latest disaster, Turkish media reported that a bill providing a new amnesty for recent construction work was before Parliament.

Geologist Celal Senghor said earlier this year that the approval of this type of amnesty for construction in a country torn apart by geological faults This equates to a “crime”.

After the deadly earthquake in the western province of Izmir in 2020, a report from the BBC Turkish service said that 672,000 buildings in Izmir benefited from last amnesty.

The same report mentions that the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development stated in 2018 that more than 50% of buildings in Turkey, equivalent to almost 13 million buildings, were built illegally.

We contacted the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development for comments on building regulations in Turkey after the latest earthquakes and they said the following:Not a single building built by our administration collapsed. Damage assessment studies are proceeding rapidly on the ground.”

Additional reporting by Olga Smirnova, Alex Murray, Richard Irwin-Brown and Dilay Yalchin.

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Author: BBC news world
Source: Laopinion

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