Earthquake Museum to open soon
KOCAELİ - Anadolu Agency
An earthquake museum, set to finish in September in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, will provide education for new generations to grow with the reality of earthquakes and to provide academic research with documents of the Aug. 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake.
The Aug. 17 Earthquake Museum and Digital Show Center, built on an area of 1,740 square meters in the Cephanelik region with a cost of 15 million Turkish Liras, will reveal the pain after the massive earthquake that occurred in 1999 in the Marmara region, considered to be the disaster of the century with over 17,000 deaths.
İzmir Mayor Nevzat Doğan said the construction of the museum started this year and preparation for the project took one year.
The Aug. 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake was the biggest disaster in the century. “Thousands of people, our relatives, neighbors, sisters, brothers, and others died within seconds, many people became disabled.
Buildings collapsed and this period of 45-seconds showed the realities of an earthquake. It taught us that an earthquake is a psychological, sociological, and even economic process. We have learned so much from this disaster and have taken necessary lessons,” said Doğan.
Doğan noted the epicenter of the Marmara earthquake was the Gölcük district and that they had decided to establish the museum project to keep its reality alive and remember the quake.
Scientific work to be supported
Doğan said they had examined earthquake museums abroad for the project.
“We went to Kobe as well as other countries. We wanted to establish a memorial center with the most developed documentation, education, and awareness in the world. Under the name of the Earthquake Museum, work will be carried out in the center to create earthquakes with developed electronic systems. In the garden of the center, there is a place to organize commemorations around the earthquake memorial.
We have a corridor that gives people the experience of a real earthquake. This place appeals to human feelings and the biological system. There is also a library and documentation center. People will be able to write a thesis on earthquakes here and find information about the Aug. 17 earthquake. Scientific research about earthquakes will be supported. There will be photos and memories of the Aug. 17 earthquake on the walls throughout the corridors as well as a video system about earthquakes around the world.”
Doğan said they organize various activities for new generations to know about the reality of earthquakes and these activities will continue at the earthquake museum, too.
The cost of the project is 15 million liras. “With a virtual reality globe around it, this is an investment of 25 million liras. I think this center is more developed than the others abroad. The most developed one is in Kobe. The first center in Turkey should have been in İzmit and we are proud to have established it here,” he said.