How did earthquake collapse pancake model of buildings in turkey know what is the reason4 min read
Thousands of buildings destroyed by earthquake in Turkey
Why the buildings could not withstand the tremors of the earthquake
Were the buildings weak? Now there will be full investigation
Melbourne. Two major earthquakes caused havoc in Turkey where more than 4000 people fell asleep, thousands were injured and many are still buried under the rubble. The first earthquake occurred near Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. This earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale was felt as far away as Britain. Nine hours later Turkey was shaken by another earthquake whose intensity was 7.5 on the Richter scale. It seems that this earthquake occurred due to the ‘intersecting fault’. This situation occurs when one tectonic plate tries to come over another.
According to the Turkish government, more than 3,450 buildings were razed to the ground in this devastation. Many of these were modern buildings, which were constructed on the basis of the ‘pancake model’ of the structure, but this model proved unsuccessful in front of the earthquake. Why did this happen ? Was it due to the high intensity of the earthquake or was there a problem with these buildings? Earthquakes have been coming for thousands of years, not from today. Earthquakes are common in Turkey because this country comes in a very sensitive area from the point of view of earthquakes. In an area where three tectonic plates are constantly rubbing against each other under the Earth’s surface. Turkey has been experiencing earthquakes for at least 2000 years.
Could the buildings be kept safe despite the earthquake?
Many cities were destroyed in this disaster in the 17th century. Earthquakes often occur in the ‘East Anatolian Fault’ zone, which is located on the border between the Arabian and Anatolian tectonic plates. These two plates are coming near each other at a speed of 6 to 10 mm every year. The tensile stress generated in this region gradually reduced due to intermittent earthquakes. This series went on for years and years. In view of this, the recent earthquakes are not shocking. It is also evident that the infrastructure here is also at risk. In the past 2000 years, we have learned a lot about the construction of such buildings which will be safe in the event of geological movements. But it is also true that there are many factors affecting the construction of buildings in this region and in other parts of the world.
Buildings could not tolerate tremors of less intensity than ‘design code’
Lack of build quality is a well known problem. It appears that many of the buildings that collapsed were made of concrete, without adequate seismic reinforcement. Seismic codes for buildings in this area indicate that these buildings should have been strong enough to withstand strong earthquakes. These tremors are generally 30 to 40 percent more than the normal gravity in the land. It seems that due to earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5, the rate of tremor was between 20 and 50 percent of gravity. These buildings could not tolerate even tremors of less intensity than the ‘design code’.
In 1999 and 2011 also earthquake had brought down buildings, thousands of people died
Ensuring the construction of safe buildings and following proper ‘building codes’ in view of earthquakes is a big problem in Turkey and in different parts of the world. Whenever earthquakes occurred in Turkey in the past, buildings collapsed in this way. In 1999, an earthquake near Izmit killed about 17,000 people and destroyed about 20,000 buildings. The earthquake in 2011 killed hundreds of people. The then Prime Minister of Turkey, Rajab Tayyab Erdoğan, then blamed the poor quality construction of the buildings for the high number of dead. He had said, ‘Municipal bodies, contractors, inspectors should see that their negligence is the reason for this murder.’
New regulations set in 2019 to make earthquake resistant
Turkish officials know that many buildings will not be able to withstand earthquakes, but this problem is beyond their solution. Many buildings have already been built and earthquake resistance measures may either be costly or not considered a priority due to other socioeconomic challenges. However, the reconstruction of these buildings may provide an opportunity to make them more secure. Turkey set new regulations in 2019 to make buildings earthquake resistant. These regulations have been welcomed but it remains to be seen whether they will actually improve the quality of buildings.
A plan will be made regarding where what is to be constructed
The way the earthquake has damaged the infrastructure, the possibility of having far-reaching effects on the environment cannot be ruled out. Due to these effects, reconstruction of buildings can also be unsafe in many places. In view of this, it is necessary to take planning decisions regarding where and what is to be constructed, so that the risk of risk can be reduced in future. At present, aftershocks are coming, and search and rescue efforts are also going on. Once the system is back on track, the reconstruction will begin. But will we see strong buildings that will be able to withstand the next earthquake or other disaster in earthquake-prone Turkey?
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Tags: Earthquake, Turkish
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 08, 2023, 05:30 IST