Prevention and preparedness: an integrated approach to disaster risk management in Turkey

In 2011 Nisanur Kepceler watched with a heavy heart as her school was razed to the ground.“I was so upset,” says Kepceler, a student in Istanbul, Turkey, “I didn’t want to see it demolished.”Her sorrow, however, soon turned to joy as she settled into her new, modern school, which was erected were her old school had once stood. Not only was this new building larger and better equipped with art supplies, laboratory tools, and other school equipment – it was also more structurally sound and better able to withstand the shock from an earthquake.


“I feel lucky and special to study in such a modern school like this. I feel safer in this new school,” admits Kepceler.

Resting at the confluence of several tectonic plates, Turkey is no stranger to seismic activity. Over the last two decades no fewer than nine strong earthquakes – registering between 6.0-6.9 on the Richter scale – have occurred across the country. At least three major earthquakes, registering between 7.0-7.9, also occurred during this time. The worst, a 7.6 quake in Izmit was devastating - leveling buildings, killing more than 18,000 people and injuring more than 43,000 people.


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