Newton Fund - Rapid Earthquake Risk Assessment and Post-Earthquake Disaster Management Framework for Substandard Buildings in Turkey

Project: ResearchEU

Project Details


As a consequence of population growth and urbanisation, our exposure to the seismic hazard is increasing, with the greatest risk arising from substandard constructions. Substandard reinforced concrete (RC) structures account for a large proportion of the existing building stock in urban and suburban regions of Turkey. Such structures are known to be highly vulnerable and have experienced catastrophic damage during past earthquakes (Kocaeli 1999, Duzce 1999, and Van 2011) leading to inexcusably extensive human, economic and societal losses given that the Turkish Seismic Design Code (1997) was revised in 2007 to introduce more stringent requirements for seismic design and mitigate vulnerability. However, the benefits of modern codes and more stringent code enforcement and inspection during design and construction will only benefit society in the future, whilst the current stock remains highly vulnerable. Consequently, there is an urgent need for reliable vulnerability assessments, appropriate seismic risk management strategies and fast rapid post-disaster response to significantly reduce potential losses in future severe earthquakes.

The aim of this collaboration is to synergise complementary expertise of leading institutions in Turkey and the UK in the field of Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Risk Assessment and Crisis Management so as to develop, an innovative, integrated and efficient framework for multi-hazard seismic risk assessment and disaster mitigation in Turkey. Rapid earthquake risk assessment and post-earthquake disaster intelligence obtained from real-time data from smart devices will be coupled for the first time. This synergy will contribute to the coordination of post-earthquake search and rescue actions, enhance situational awareness and to validate earthquake risk assessment predictions.

A new methodology for rapid assessment of structures will be created considering all components of primary/secondary earthquake hazards (e.g. landslides and liquefaction), structural vulnerability and financial/economic aspects. A previously developed comprehensive rapid risk assessment framework for substandard buildings will be used to provide a benchmark for calibration and optimisation of the developed framework. Pre/post-earthquake inventory data collected from substandard buildings in Turkey (region of Marmara) and high-quality seismological information from in-field measurements will be used in the calibration/optimisation process.

The project will also address communication and knowledge modelling for crisis management, thus ensuring an efficient use of the data obtained from the high-level earthquake risk assessment. An innovative approach will be used to combine field/experimental observations and real-time data from mobile devices and advanced apps widely used for social networking. Such real-time data will be used to further calibrate the developed framework, to coordinate search/rescue actions and to increase situational awareness around the crisis. The use of social media data analysis for post-crisis management of stress, trauma and recovery will help create a more resilience society in Turkey.

The new framework will be used to provide optimal mitigation strategies to reduce economic losses and manage the social impacts of earthquakes in Turkey, and the framework can be extended to the rest of the world.Recommendations for social/disaster management and efficient communication of risk mitigation strategies will be provided to people/government before severe earthquakes.

Effective start/end date1/08/1615/02/20


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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