A Conversation for Earthquakes - the Human Perspective

Turkish Earthquake

Post 1


I was in Istanbul when the August 17th earthquake hit, and I can very much relate to this article. At 3.00 in the morning of the 17th, the hotel room I was staying in started to shake, a bit like air turbulence. That was scary, but not the scariest thing. The whole hotel began to rock backwards and forwards, and loud creaks came from all the walls. So it was a bit like being in a cabin on board ship during a storm, while simultaneously experiencing air turbulence! The whole thing lasted 40 seconds. No more.

We don't get earthquakes where I come from, so my biggest problem after it happened was trying to establish some sort of frame of reference. How big had it been? Is this normal for Turkey? Should I leave the building? Will there be another one? No alarm was raised, so I went back to bed for myself, and I was awoken each hour afterwards by fairly powerful aftershocks.

Istanbul was not badly affected by the earthquake. It is a huge city and I still tremble to think how badly the death toll could have been if the epicentre had hit the city directly. The real damage happened in the outskirts and in towns across the Bosphorus about 50 miles away. The people put the blame on unscrupulous builders, who built tall apartments with insufficient foundations using materials no stronger than sand.

Over 17,000 people are accounted as dead as a result, and the final death toll could be significantly higher as many bodies crushed under buildings were simply buldozed away to prevent the spread of disease.

NZ Earthquake

Post 2

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

Napier, New Zealand, where I live, was rocked by a 7.5 strength earthquake in 1931. This and the resulting fire, caused by loose chemicals stored in chemist shops mixing, left 256 people dead. The whole area was raised, 'permantly', by six feet.

The town, now city of 55,00 people, was rebuilt in the Art Deco style of the 30s. Ironically, nowadays Napier and the surrounding fruit/wine growing area, is considered one of the prettiest parts of New Zealand and people enjoy the peaceful seaside ambience of the place.

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