Quake-hit areas under threat of ‘debris flow’: Expert

Quake-hit areas under threat of ‘debris flow’: Expert

Quake-hit areas under threat of ‘debris flow’: Expert

Torrential rainfalls in the quake-hit provinces, where efforts are ongoing to remove piles of rubble from collapsed buildings, can increase the risk of deadly debris flows carried away by floodwaters, warns an expert.

Considering examples from around the world, high-intensity and large-scale earthquakes, similar to the Kahramanmara-centered earthquakes, can cause landslides whose numbers can reach thousands, stated Hakan Tanyaş from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

“As these landslides carry materials that include the debris, which we call ‘debris flow,’ they might be more destructive than a usual landslide,” Tanyaş explained.

Pointing out that the destruction the southern province of Adıyaman experienced in the floods on March 15 was due to the debris flow, Tanyaş stated that the material accumulated on the slopes and river beds after the quakes were activated by heavy precipitation.

In other words, the areas affected by earthquakes are under a different and more severe threat in case of heavy rains and landslides.

Tanyaş warned that areas that have become vulnerable to landslides after the quakes should be identified and that new settlement regions should be selected accordingly.

“However, our field observations show that our citizens whose houses were destroyed face the risk of debris flowing under the slopes. For this reason, necessary investigations should be made, and our people should be moved to safe areas as soon as possible,” Tanyaş expressed.