Turkey’s high vulnerability to earthquakes is significantly compounded by socio-economic factors. Following two devastating earthquakes in 1999, the Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS), American Red Cross (ARC) and Bogazici University began a series of collaborative activities aimed at community risk reduction. A Bogazici University study concluded that:
Of the 18,000 deaths, more than 95 per cent were a result of building collapse while only 3 per cent were due to nonstructural causes.
Of the 50,000 injuries, 50 per cent were a result of non-structural causes.
Therefore, up to 25,000 injuries could have been prevented by taking basic preparedness measures at the household level – such as securing furniture and other heavy, tall objects likely to fall on people. If people employ simple, preventative measures in future, the drain on limited medical resources and associated economic losses would be dramatically reduced