Turkey’s Chamber of Geological Engineers had given the government warnings time after time about just such a disaster as that caused by Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquakes, epicentre Kahramanmaraş, chairman Hüseyin Alan told daily BirGün on Wednesday.
The chamber had been expecting an earthquake on the very segment of the Eastern Anatolian Fault Line, and prepared a report on how the region should prepare but the Turkish president’s office offered no feedback. “We did not get a single response,” Alan said.
Engineers have been warning of the danger for “decades”, disaster expert Kubilay Kaptan said, but their alarm fell on deaf ears. According to Kaptan, it was “clear that no precautions had been taken” from the damage the buildings and roads suffered. Materials used were “terrible … clearly had not been inspected”, he said.
“Unfortunately, one of the worst scenarios we envisioned has come true,” Kaptan continued. Disaster struck at night, when everyone was asleep, affecting a region with some six million inhabitants in the harshest winter conditions.