TURKEY: significant material losses expected after the October 30th earthquake in the Aegean area

3 November 2020 — Daniela GHETU
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Friday in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, killing at least 91 people and injuring over 1,000 amid collapsed buildings and flooding, according to the latest official data available. The quake also made a couple of victims, and injured 19 people, in addition to the material damages.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands, but also much further, in Athens and Bulgaria. In Turkey, it shook the regions of Aegean and Marmara. Although citizens of Istanbul have also felt the seismic wave, no damages were reported in the city.

One of the most impacted areas was Turkey's third largest city, Izmir. More than 3,500 tents and 13,000 beds were supplied to provide temporary shelter in Izmir, Turkey's disaster and emergency authority (AFAD) said, while thousands of rescuers have searched for days survivors under the mountains of debris or over 17 high rise buildings. While it seems that the earthquake wasn't a typical Izmir one, because of the far distance of the epicenter. Yet, the rather small depth of the epicenter made, on one hand, that it was felt very strong and on the hand, that that potentially powerful aftershocks could be expected for several weeks, according to seismologists forecast. More buildings could collapse in a strong aftershock, especially considering that it seems that there are many buildings in the area not corresponding to the seismic standards.

According to the TCIP (Turkish Earthquake Insurance Pool), in Izmir there are 1,12 million housing units, of which 56.7% (635.680 units) are covered by a mandatory insurance policy for the earthquake risk. In the entire Aegean region, there are 2.6 million housing units, of which 54% (1.4 million) insured by TCIP.

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