First nationwide quake drill to be held
With a system to be applied for the first time, warnings will be made from national broadcaster TRT’s television and radio channels in “the drop-cover-hold on” earthquake exercise to be held simultaneously in 81 provinces of Türkiye and Turkish Cyprus on Nov. 12 at 6:57 p.m., says the head of Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).
All television and radio channels affiliated with TRT will simultaneously issue announcements to warn people of the earthquake drill, which will be used for the first time in the country, noted Yunus Sezer, the head of AFAD.
“We will not use defense warning and emergency vehicle sirens in order not to encounter any negative situations and not to cause panic,” Sezer added.
Before the exercise, an informational message will reach the citizens from the information retrieval and dissemination system and vital warning notification system, he stated.
A voice notification will be made from the announcement systems of the municipalities and mosques connected to the central prayer’s call system.
Public spots will be broadcast through social media and television channels to increase awareness throughout the week, he said.
“Following the completion of our exercise, prayers will be held in all 81 provinces and Turkish Cyprus for our citizens who lost their lives both in the Düzce earthquake and in all disasters that occurred in our country,” Sezer pointed out.
Türkiye is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.
In 1999, a magnitude-7.4 tremor hit the industrial province of Kocaeli, leaving nearly 18,000 people dead and around 45,000 others injured.
Nearly 16 million people were affected, with around 200,000 people becoming homeless.
The same year, another earthquake rattled the Black Sea province of Düzce on Nov. 12 at 6:57 p.m. local time with a magnitude of 7.2, causing damage and at least 845 fatalities.
The epicenter was approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the east of the Kocaeli earthquake that happened a few months earlier.
Last October, a powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s third-largest city, İzmir, killing at least 115 people and injuring over 1,000 others.
The AFAD carries out informative activities in a bid to “create a disaster-resilient society.” More than 66,000 exercises have been carried out in schools, libraries, hospitals, public buildings, dormitories, nursing homes, courthouses, prisons, detention centers, airports, shopping malls and terminals within the scope of “the 2022 Disaster Drill Year.”