Turkey: Expert warns of earthquake risk in Istanbul districts near sea
Istanbul districts close to the Marmara Sea are at higher risk of earthquakes, an expert warns. Associate professor Bülent Özmen of Gazi University says Turkey's most populated city saw changes in terms of risk after an update of an earthquake risk map dating back to 1996. That risk map was published three years before a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the country's Marmara region where Istanbul is located and killed thousands of people. Özmen says the updated map was published in January and illustrated an increased earthquake risk for Istanbul, which is located near the sea, along with changes of the risk factors in other cities like the capital Ankara. "The new map also brought changes in classification of risk and now, every neighborhood, every settlement is categorized differently depending on their proximity to fault lines," he told Anadolu Agency (AA). Özmen says the new update also removed the description of risk areas as "primary earthquake zone or secondary earthquake zone" and was more specific. "Thanks to an e-government website, you can pinpoint coordinates of any given areas or even a single building and find out if it is at risk," he points out.