Buildings in Malatya heavily ruined from inside after quakes

Buildings in Malatya heavily ruined from inside after quakes

Bülent Sarıoğlu- MALATYA
Buildings in Malatya heavily ruined from inside after quakes

While almost none of the buildings in the southeastern province of Malatya’s Bostanbaşı neighborhood collapsed in the earthquakes, the buildings that looked intact on the outside were almost completely ruined on the inside.

The Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry has asked its officials to conduct new inspections on buildings in Malatya after a third 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Yeşilyurt district 21 days after the deadly Feb. 6 earthquakes.

The new reports of the ministry experts who conducted a reexamination are being uploaded on Türkiye’s e-government website, e-Devlet, as of March 13.

In the new reports, none of the hundreds of buildings in the Bostanbaşı neighborhood, a new settlement area with nearly 2,000 apartments, were found intact.

Almost all of the high-rise blocks that appear to be intact from the outside were found to be heavily damaged from the inside. Among these severely damaged buildings, there are also ones that are newly built and have not yet been occupied.

In the photographs added to the reports by the Ministry, cracked beams and staircases and curved columns were seen in buildings with nine to 14 stories.

Some shops and apartments still have “for sale” and “for rent” posters on them from before the earthquakes.

These destroyed luxury residences, where each apartment is sold for millions of liras, represent the loss of the country’s national wealth.

Erkan Özgür, Malatya Representative of the Geological Engineers Chamber stated that the neighborhood was zoned for housing 25 years ago. In fact, the story height was limited at first.

However, after a while, the story height was liberalized with the decision of the city council.

He added that everyone was aware of the fact that the neighborhood was on agricultural land, as it did not have liquefied soil, but it had soil containing plenty of water.

He stated that before the second earthquake, only 14 buildings had collapsed in Malatya. It was the second earthquake that struck Malatya and heavily damaged the buildings.

“All of the new buildings were inspected by building inspection companies. In fact, 99 percent of collapsed buildings are old structures. Only three of the inspected buildings collapsed,” he said.

“Now we will see whether these damaged buildings will be retrofitted or demolished,” he added.