Turkey-Syria Earthquake | Poor Construction Or ‘Destiny’s Plan’?

Syria Earthquake


At Mother Nature’s whim, tens of thousands of lives have been lost, with the number grimly growing each day.

Not since the Haitian earthquakes of 2010 have we witnessed such harrowing, desperate scenes as we see this February in Turkey & Syria.

The cruelty of natural disasters are, of course, nothing new. However, in the aftermath of such a cataclysmic event, questions are rightly being asked, and fingers are rightly being pointed.

In the search for answers, the international spotlight is firmly focused on Turkey (or ‘Türkiye’ as it wishes to be referred to on the international stage) – Syria is, of course, gripped by an endless civil war, so accurate reports are difficult to obtain.

Modern buildings in earthquake-prone areas across the globe are often constructed with resistance in mind – Japan in particular follows stringent laws, heeding lessons from its own disaster-laden past. The wizardry of engineering means buildings, particularly taller buildings, will ‘sway’ which absorb, rather than resist, an earthquake’s seismic energy.

Of course, while Turkey is a vastly different economic beast to Japan, laws are in place which citizens expect to be followed. Under particular spotlight is the Government’s 2018 Amnesty, which forgave faults on buildings throughout Turkey, essentially legalising previously illegal construction.

Following the earthquakes of 1999, Turkish building regulations have stipulated buildings must be earthquake resilient. The rapidity of construction since 1999, which has been widely praised, now faces accusations of industrial-scale malpractice and it is heartbreakingly evident that seismic buildings codes have not been followed.

Blame rises to the top levels of government, but on the ground, news of arrest warrants issued are being reported.

Cynics believe the arrests are an effort to deflect blame from the government, especially as the country heads into election season. President Erdogan has further come under fire for comments appearing to blame fate for the disaster.

A disaster of this scale, said to be the region’s worst for 100 years, needs answers. In the coming months and years, as the answers become clearer, we sincerely hope Turkey, as well as other at-risk countries across the world, heed these most painful lessons and are unwavering in their application of building control laws, which are simply in place to protect their citizens.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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