Responding to Earthquake Damage in Turkey with EERI and EPRI
On 6 February 2023 at 4.17 a.m., a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southeast Turkey near the Syrian border, causing unprecedented damage to the surrounding area. The fault surface rupture was over 400 km long and affected more than 14 million people. Peak ground accelerations exceeding 1.0g were recorded at a half dozen stations. More than 100,000 buildings collapsed or were heavily damaged in Turkey and Syria. A month after the event, we traveled to Turkey to observe the post-earthquake state of the hospitals and lifeline facilities in the affected areas on behalf of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).
Riccardo led the EERI “Lifelines” team, which spent six days in the field reviewing a wide range of facilities, including major power plants, hydro-dams, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminals, water and wastewater treatment plants, university campuses, bridges and tunnels, electric substations, power transmission lines, water main failures, and several other industrial facilities. Onder supported the EERI “Hospitals” team for half of the trip and then joined the Lifelines team for two days. The Hospitals team visited more than twenty hospitals in the strong motion region, including base-isolated structures.
Our trip was cosponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to help review the performance of mechanical and electrical equipment similar to those in nuclear plants. Additionally, SGH was interested in sharing our expertise with local utilities to help them recover and prepare for future events, and in capturing lessons learned on the behavior of critical infrastructure such as power plants, electric grid, hospital facilities, and oil and gas facilities when subjected to strong ground motions that can be applied to other utilities worldwide. Both the Lifelines and Hospitals teams will publish a joint report with Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association and present their findings in a webinar series in May 2023.