BY ALAATTIN AKTAS
The cost of the earthquake has been tried to be revealed. We don’t even know exactly how many lives have been lost. Maybe we will never know the exact figure. There are collapsed and heavily damaged buildings. There are also buildings which don’t look bad but can’t be resided in.
We can’t technically know the state of the building stock in the quakehit region. But it’s known that this stock isn’t safe that much. The quakes were too strong. Let alone compare them with the countries like Japan, the fact that one of the two buildings, which are next to each other, collapsed while the other is still standing, shows that there is a significant difference from one building to another. The Environment Ministry stated that around 154,000 apartments in around 33,000 buildings must be demolished. This statement means that these buildings were heavily damaged but didn’t collapse. So, buildings, which were fully collapsed seem not to be included in these figures. In other words, the photograph of the region hasn’t been taken in terms of buildings yet.
3.3 million households live in the 10 quake-hit provinces, according to the 2021 data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). It won’t be wrong to assume that each of them resides in one apartment. So, there are 3.3 million apartments in the region.
The TurkStat data also shows that 51% of these apartments were built in 2021 and after. So, one of the two apartments is 20 years old. In other words, slightly more than half of apartments are new in the quake-hit region. 10% of them were constructed in 1980 and before, while 27.8% of them were built in 1981-2000 in the region. It’s unknown when apartments, which constitute 11.2% share of the total, were built.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously stated that 98% of the collapsed buildings were constructed before 1999. President Erdogan has detailed information about the building stock and that rate is based on this information. However, there is no contradiction between the information that 98% of the collapsed buildings were constructed before 1999 and the fact that 49% of apartments were built before 2001 in this region. Erdogan talks about the number of buildings… But I talk about the number of apartments based on TurkStat data…
98 of the 100 collapsed buildings could be constructed before 1999 but the situation isn’t the same in the number of collapsed apartments. We all know that multistorey buildings, which include much more apartments, gradually increase. For instance, the number of apartments is more if the number of collapsed buildings has a 2% share in total. There are examples of this such as some buildings and residences in Hatay that became the symbol of twin quakes. Although such multistorey buildings with many apartments were quite new, they collapsed.
Of course, it’s important to know the number of collapsed buildings, but it’s also important to know the number of apartments in them and their building date. Thus, we can learn if we construct buildings in line with the earthquake regulation…