21-23 October 2023 (Turkiye)
Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), in collaboration with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) of Turkiye, University of the Ryukyus, and Hacettepe University, organized a study visit to 2023 Turkiye-Syria earthquake-affected areas in Turkiye on 21-23 October 2023. The study visit was aimed at: i) observing the impacts, challenges, and lessons from the earthquake disaster; ii) gaining insights on improving the DRR plans of ADRC member countries; and iii) facilitating knowledge and information exchange.
The study team comprised officials from Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. In addition, academics from the University of the Ryukus and Hacettepe University as well as AFAD officials from Turkiye and ADRC staff members participated in the study visit. The team learned more about the mechanisms, damage, and disaster response of this earthquake in Turkiye. The study team also visited three of the eleven provinces impacted by the earthquake, Gaziantep, Kharamanmaras, and Hatay to observe the housing recovery process in these areas.
The team learned that the tectonic plates in Turkiye include the Anatolian Plate, the African Plate, the Arabian Plate, and the Eurasian Plate and that during the 2023 earthquakes, "a relative slip between the Arabian and African plates caused westward movement of the Anatolian plate." This large slip combined with the following factors caused many buildings to collapse or become heavily damaged: i) lack of implementation of seismic codes in structural design, ii) construction mistakes, negligence, and lack of moral, iii) poor workmanship, iv) soft floors, v) resonance phenomenon due to ground conditions, vi) pounding of adjacent buildings, and vii) liquefaction of the ground. Regarding housing recovery, the team observed that the reconstruction is contractor-driven and that the permanent houses are being built in relocation sites. Also, the citizens can own the house
with payments maturing in 20 years (2 years free and 18 years covered 60% by subsidy from the government).
ADRC would like to thank AFAD, Dr Omer and Professor Ulusay to make this visit possible, and all the participants from the member countries who actively took part in this study visit.