Van locals hesitant on new disaster

Van locals hesitant on new disaster

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
On the first anniversary of the deadly Van earthquake, residents of the city say the province has been reconstructed fast, but hesitate to claim the city is prepared for another shake.

Van has recovered unexpectedly fast after the quake, earthquake victim and Van resident Sabahattin Irmaksever said. Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) has nearly rebuilt the city, according to Irmaksever, who adds that everything seemed alright on surface, but there were still some problems. “We clearly saw that Van was caught unprepared for the earthquake. The only measurement taken was restoring the containers, but it is not sufficient for such a great disaster as an earthquake,” Irmaksever said.

“The schools are partially active, the [structures of] some schools were reinforced, and the students gather there,” another quake victim Reşat Delal said.

Gülsüm Çakır, who had to move to another city after the quake, also said that the city was recovering fast and the only problem was on the matter of school. “We thought that the city would never turn to its former state, but our worries did not come true,” Çakır said.

Psychologist Suat Özçağdaş, who joined aid works in Van after the quake said that building new houses is not enough.

“I could only say that like Van, none of our cities are ready for a disaster. Constructing new buildings is not enough, a comprehensive infrastructure plan must be prepared."