Turkey - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2002/0039
OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Turkey - Earthquake
7 February 2002

General Situation

1. An earthquake of a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale hit the province of Afyon in the Western Turkey at 09:11 hours local time on Sunday, 3 February 2002. The event was described as a superficial tremor which occurred at a depth of 5-6 km from the surface of the earth. Scientists said this fact contributed to the serious effect of the earthquake.

2. The epicenter of the quake was the Sultandagi sub-province of Afyon province 190 km southwest to the capital Ankara and some 305 km southeast to Istanbul. The sub-provinces of Cay, Bolvadin, Cobanlar and Sincanli were also severely hit by the earthquake.

3. 71 buildings totally collapsed or were severely damaged according to official assessment reports and findings of the UNDAC team. The total of 622 heavily damaged buildings consist of 341 homes, 246 offices and 35 public buildings. 33 primary schools suffered from minor damages. A big industrial site in the district of Cay totally collapsed but no casualty was reported at that location thanks to the weekend holiday. According to latest update, the earthquake killed 44 and injured 318 in the area.

4. The Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul recorded more than 550 aftershocks within the initial 72 hours after the quake. Only three of these aftershocks were between the magnitude of 5.3 and 5.0 according to the Richter scale, and 44 of them were measured between the magnitude of 3.0 and 4.1.

5. Water and electricity services have been reconnected in all locations although the population is being advised not to drink the water in case of contamination caused by breaks in pipes. Health authorities provided adequate chlorine tablets to address the sanitation needs. To meet the drinking water needs, large quantities of bottled water and water tanks have been provided by authorities.

National Response

6. The Turkish Red Crescent provided 10,822 tents, 35,000 blankets, 3,480 stoves and 13 mobile kitchens to the affected area. Turkish armed forces, civil defense organization, many national NGOs and volunteers also contributed by providing additional tents, blankets, stoves, food, water and medicine. More than 100 prefabricated homes are already built and the immediate shelter needs are adequately met.

7. In addition to the 6 mobile hospitals and more than 30 ambulances which were deployed to the area, the Health and Employment Ministries mobilized adequate numbers of skilled medical staff to meet the immediate health needs of the affected population.

8. Several national search and rescue (SAR) teams arrived at the scene a few hours after the quake. Turkish armed forces, civil defense teams, neighboring municipalities, and many national NGOs rushed to the disaster zone immediately after the event, and almost all sanitation, shelter, food, drinking water and medicine needs were met as of Monday night, 4 February 2002. The Prime Minister and several cabinet's members visited the earthquake region. The Transportation Ministry responsible for communications provided electricity generators and support systems to meet the communication needs. Schools in the affected region have been closed for a week coinciding with the half-term break.

9. The national and local governments have reacted very swiftly and efficiently and managed to maintain a full control of all disaster response activities.

International Response

10. Neighboring Greece has been the first country to offer assistance to the Turkish Government. Representatives from IFRC, the American Red Cross and Italian Red Cross visited the field for assessment and further cooperation with the Turkish Red Crescent Society. The Government has repeatedly stated that no international assistance is needed due to the national response systems in place.

11. A UN team comprised of two UNDAC members, two programme officers from UNDP and UNICEF, and two UNICEF psychologists visited the field on Monday, 4 February. The eam initially visited the disaster-hit districts of Bolvadin, Cay and the village of Eber, and was briefed by the Deputy Governor and other officials in the region. The UN team observed that the national and local governments have reacted in a highly professional manner. The National Red Cross has provided adequate number of tents, blankets, heaters and water tanks, which the team estimated as sufficient. Electricity and water supplies are, in general, fully functional. Land-line phones, temporarily out of service due to electricity cut, are fully functional.

12. The community-based social and psychological counseling programme had started following the previous two major earthquakes that affected Turkey in 1999, and achieved very good results. UNICEF will now extend the project to include Afyon province to provide similar assistance following the initial reports of the UNICEF psychologist who visited the site with the UNDAC-UNDP-UNICEF team and remained there for further needs assessment.

13. The UNDAC team and UNDP met with officials of the Turkish Emergency Management General Directorate (TEMAD) Office in Ankara on Tuesday, 5 February. TEMAD Director General requested UNDP to support them in the development of a standard format for exchange of information in case of emergency. The UNDAC-UNDP team also met with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and representatives from the Turkish Red Crescent Society. They agreed on the need to accelerate the process of finalization of the UNDMT Disaster Management Plan.

14. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. Dusan Zupka, Mr. Anvar Munavvarov
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645/1669

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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