This post is a public-service announcement on behalf of Friend of the Gormogons Claire Berlinski. Claire is a really interesting American freelance journalist who lives in Istanbul. She recently had quite a scare with her brother Mischa, his UN-employed wife, and their infant son residing in Port-au-Prince. They all got out just fine, but Claire’s long-time preoccupation with construction and earthquake safety in Istanbul has gone into overdrive.
Istanbul is a city of twelve million or so right near a major earthquake fault—and whose building codes are not exactly strictly observed. Consequently, a major earthquake could reduce a lot of the city to rubble, killing lots of people.
Claire’s brainstorming ideas on how to avoid this happening. Currently, she’s thinking about crowd-sourcing technology to report building problems. If you know anything about the technology, architecture, building engineering, seismology, or Turkish culture, please contact Claire at her blog. She could use the help.
Claire follows us on Twitter. Do you?
Update: If you’d been following us on Twitter, you’d see GorT points us to an article in Science that concludes:
The 12 earthquakes that damaged Istanbul during the past 1500 years attest to a significant hazard and form the basis for a 30-year Poisson, or time-averaged, probability of 15 to 25%. Because the major faults near Istanbul are likely late in their earthquake cycles (with no major shocks since 1894), the renewal probability climbs to 49 ± 15%. We calculate that stress changes altered the rate of seismicity after the 1999 Izmit earthquake, promoting the M ± 7.2 Düzce shock and the Yalova cluster. Because the 1999 Izmit shock is calculated to have similarly increased stress on faults beneath the Marmara Sea, the interaction-based probability we advocate climbs still higher, to 62 ± 15%.
So their low-end guess on the odds for a sizeable quake within 30 years is just under 50%. Help now, please.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.