In earthquake-prone Turkey, fury rises over poor construction standards after buildings suffer ‘pancake collapse’

Source(s): South China Morning Post
  • More than 12,000 buildings, some constructed only six months ago, fell apart in a country where construction firms that are often close to the government overlook safety standards
  • Experts also blamed poor concrete grade, relaxed regulations and engineers and architects’ low quality of education for the catastrophe


Experts say Turkey has the regulations in place to prevent such a catastrophe. But they are only applied loosely by construction companies, the largest of which are often close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Officials say 12,141 buildings were either destroyed or seriously damaged in Turkey.


“The floors are piling on top of each other,” Erdik, also part of the Turkish Earthquake Foundation said, which means the chances of being found alive are slim.


So why did the buildings topple?

The causes are usually linked to the poor quality of the concrete, which sometimes is mixed with too much water and gravel, and too little concrete, according to Zihni Tekin, a consultant at Istanbul Technical University.

Other reasons include steel rods that are too thin to support the columns, which limit the building’s strength, the engineer said.


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