Earthquakes more deadly in Turkey than rest of world - report

Earthquakes have killed more people in Turkey this year than similar seismic events in the rest of the world combined, news outlet Habertürk said on Friday.

The 6.6 magnitude earthquake in the Aegean Sea that killed at least 37 people in the city of Izmir on Friday follows a similar strength tremor that killed 41 in eastern Elazığ province in January, the two highest death tolls anywhere in the world.

Habertürk said that 20 other countries had seen earthquakes with a magnitude stronger than 6.5 in 2020, resulting in a total of 13 fatalities, including 10 in the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Mexico on June 23, and one in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that took place in Papua New Guinea on 17 July.

“Nobody died in earthquakes between 6.5 and 6.9 magnitude in Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Greece, Solomon Islands and the United States,” the news outlet said.

Turkey has suffered a number of similar disasters, including the 1999 İzmit earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people killed and left roughly 500,000 homeless. The country has remained poorly prepared to deal with the problem, according to Habertürk.

Experts believe Istanbul, with a population of more than 15 million, is particularly vulnerable to a large seismic event, but critics say counter measures have been undermined by poor enforcement and corruption, leaving many buildings inadequately prepared to withstand shocks.