Post-earthquake reconstruction in Syria, Turkey may take 10 years
Experts express the need to examine stricken buildings to avoid an even greater catastrophe.
Blaming the poor adhesion of building materials and the usage of unsafe structural components, many buildings were bound to collapse when the earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, according to a report published by The New York Times. Although Turkey has a good hazard map and building codes, according to Kevin McCue, a member of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society, they were not properly followed, which led to the catastrophe.
Officials say it will be years before the streetscapes of the stricken areas bear any resemblance to their old selves. As such, rebuilding is going to take a very long time.
Some buildings may look okay from the outside. However, certain structural components might have been damaged to the extent that some of these buildings will have to be torn down; a process that alone could take years.
As a result, inspections of intact buildings are in order by experts to determine whether the buildings are safe for residency or not, even amid the ongoing rescue efforts. Since rescue efforts are still ongoing in northwestern Syria and up to 10 provinces in Turkey, the process of clearing and rebuilding won’t start for days or even weeks.
On a more critical note, rebuilding infrastructure is crucial for hospitals and civil defense structures and should be deemed a high priority, according to Mr. McCue. When the earthquake stroke, many of these buildings’ electrical and water supplies were cut or disrupted.
The crisis resulting from the terrorist war on Syria prompted civilians to seek refuge in damaged or somewhat destroyed buildings lacking basic infrastructure and services.
The war-stricken country's infrastructure is quite lacking, as a war that has lasted for more than a decade has ravaged the country's capabilities and eaten at its machinery and adequate equipment.
Terrorist groups and foreign aggression destroyed all of Syria's capabilities, from vehicles to cranes and bulldozers, among other equipment, at a time when the competent authorities need them because people are trapped under the rubble.
Similar circumstances were shown in Mexico City when an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 hits in 1985, killing nearly 10,000 people and displacing another 100,000. Naturally, almost a million buildings were affected and reaching up to $4 billion worth of damage. Teams from the U.S. National Bureau of Standards and the United States Geological Survey headed to Mexico to assess the damages.
After being hit with such a tragedy, officials in Mexico began tightening building codes to address structure integrity, making their building codes among the world’s best.
Although Mexico was fortunate enough to receive post-quake aid with teams of experts and immediate resources for the rebuilding process, this was not the case for other countries, such as Haiti.
Haiti was struck with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, killing more than 300,000 people and causing immense damage.
Other countries received aid from federal and state governments. This was witnessed in Los Angeles in 1994 when a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit, killing 60 people, injuring 7,000, and displacing 20,000 others.
The damages reached an estimation of $20 billion. They received $11 billion for reconstruction aid which helped restore the city’s economy and provide temporary jobs.
In the case of the most recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria, one notices the difference in aid which was sent to both countries. Following a 12-year brutal war, and due to the so-called Caesar law projected on Syria, many countries fell reluctant to send aid due to the fear of being sanctioned, leaving Syria to handle a catastrophe it was in no way capable of handling on its own.
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