Istanbul mayor announces earthquake mobilization plan

Istanbul mayor announces earthquake mobilization plan

Istanbul mayor announces earthquake mobilization plan

Amid fear and concerns over a potential earthquake in Türkiye’s largest metropolis Istanbul, which came to the agenda following the deadly tremors that rocked the country’s south, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has brought forward an earthquake mobilization plan.

The deputy chairs of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Seyit Torun and Gökçe Gökçen, Adana Mayor Zeydan Karalar and Mersin Mayor Vahap Seçer, as well as experts including Prof. Dr. Naci Görür, Prof. Dr. Celal Şengör and Prof. Dr. Haluk Eyidoğan, attended the meeting announcing the plan.

According to İmamoğlu’s statement, in order to protect the city, the Istanbul Municipality will achieve the first quake-resilient city title, which will set an example for the rest of Türkiye.

“Earthquakes are inevitable for Istanbul. As it has hit Istanbul throughout history, it will happen again,” he said.

İmamoğlu proposed to establish an earthquake council for the Marmara region to prepare Istanbul and the other provinces in Marmara for an earthquake and stated that İBB is ready to do its part in such an organization to the fullest.

He said that with the “Earthquake Action and Response Plan,” which they have prepared together with experts, the municipality is taking earthquake preparations to a more advanced stage as of March 1.

“In line with this plan, we will revise our budget, including disaster preparedness. We will accumulate whatever we can allocate for the earthquake. In the next three months, we will establish 30 more earthquake assembly areas supplied with critical needs such as energy, water and shelter,” he said.

İmamoğlu also pointed out that occasional inspections on buildings after their occupancy permits are issued should be implemented as soon as possible.

He said they have made the necessary correspondence with all the district municipalities and invited them to create a joint action plan.

“If any shoddy and illegal construction intervention has been made to a licensed building afterward, it will be considered a criminal offense, and we will not allow it,” he said.

He announced that they are preparing a regulation on partial and comprehensive building retrofitting.

In this regulation, the municipality will determine a construction process and financing models for the buildings that will be retrofitted according to the results of the rapid screening method.

The number of applicants for the rapid screening method after the Kahramanmaraş quakes exceeded 110,000, İmamoğlu said.

Stressing that they will quickly prepare temporary shelter areas for 4.5 million citizens, he said that assembly areas, shelters and evacuation routes will also be included in the zoning plans.