Turkey, İzmir earthquake

9 arrested in Turkey for collapse of buildings during the earthquake

Most of the collapsed buildings were not earthquake-proof. The death toll from the İzmir earthquake has now risen to 109.

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor of İzmir has confirmed the arrest of nine people in relation to the collapse of several buildings during the earthquake that suffered last Friday the city – the third most populous in Turkey – and in which more than one hundred people have died.

Near twenty buildings collapsed as a result of the earthquake, of almost 7 degrees on the Richter scale, and according to information published in various media the cause would have been the poor quality of the construction of the houses, which were also built according to a old earthquake legislation, from 1975, much more permissive than the current one.

Although most of the housing blocks that collapsed were built in the 1990s under such legislation, some of the buildings nonetheless had been designed under more modern legislation and were supposedly prepared to withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake, something that did not happen.

Among those arrested are precisely several contractors as well as the engineers responsible for inspecting the buildings and ensuring that they complied with construction regulations. In addition to the 9 detainees, two other accused by the prosecution are still being searched by police.

109 people killed by the earthquake

On the other hand, according to the latest data provided today by the Agency for Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), the death toll from the earthquake in İzmir already rises to 109 dead, while more than a thousand are injured, of which 883 have been discharged from hospital and another 138 are still under treatment.

So far 107 people have been rescued from the rubble, of which 12 are admitted to the ICU, 5 of them in very serious condition; work continues to find survivors in 4 of the 17 buildings collapsed by the earthquake. In addition, since the main earthquake occurred on Friday, with an intensity of 6.6 degrees – other records raise it to 7 – there have been 1,528 aftershocks in the area, 44 of them greater than 4 in intensity.

For his part, the Turkish Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, has warned that the conditions created after the earthquake in İzmir are especially favorable for the spread of the coronavirus, and therefore he has urged citizens to extreme precautions.