News Middle East17 Feb 2015

Turkey:2/3 of population live in areas with earthquake risk

17 Feb 2015

More than 50 million people or two-thirds of the population in Turkey live in regions under the risk of potential earthquakes, according to figures provided by the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

Over 33 million people live in regions with high earthquake risk while some 23.3 million people reside in regions exposed to a lower risk of earthquakes. Overall, they make up two-thirds of the total population, which currently stands at 77.6 million, reported the Daily Sabah quoting AFAD data. The figures show that 10 million buildings are situated in high risk areas and another five million are in secondary risk areas.

Turkey sits on three active fault zones running through the north, east and Aegean Sea whose total length is 2,900 km, in addition to many smaller fault lines across the country. The most active fault line caused a major earthquake in 1999, killing tens of thousands of people in northwestern Turkey.

Turkey has taken several measures to mitigate the risk of earthquakes such as compulsory earthquake insurance and campaigns to raise public awareness about quakes. More important, the government i carrying out urban transformation. Old, crumbling buildings across the country are being demolished to make way for new earthquake-proof buildings.

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