Turkey: Earthquakes Situation Report no. 37

Relief efforts continue to meet outstanding needs of those affected by the earthquakes, with 860 mt of shelter, water-sanitation and health-related items distributed during the period covered in this report. However, as emergency needs decrease, the International Federation continues to concentrate its efforts on the post relief phase, focusing mainly on rehabilitation and reconstruction, social welfare, health and disaster preparedness. The first reconstruction project has been successfully completed and the extension of the Kocaeli University hospital will be inaugurated this week. Between 15 and 20 Red Cross Red Crescent Societies are expected to attend the upcoming planning and information meeting in Ankara, 17-19 February 2000.
appeal no. 19/99
period covered: 29 January 2000 - 10 February 2000
14 February 2000 TURKEY: EARTHQUAKES

The context

In the second half of 1999, north-western Turkey, the country's most densely populated region and industrial heartland, was struck by two massive earthquakes in less than three months. The first, on 17 August 1999 at 03h02 local time, measured between 7.4 and 7.8 on the Richter scale and lasted 45 seconds. Izmit, an industrial city of one million in western Turkey, was nearest the epicentre. The official death toll stands at over 17,100, with some 44,000 people injured, nearly 300,000 homes either damaged or collapsed, and more than 40,000 business premises similarly affected. On the day of the catastrophe, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and requested international assis-tance. The International Federation immediately launched a Preliminary Appeal, followed by a full Appeal for CHF 65 million on 8 September 1999. The disaster was followed by more than 1,300 after-shocks, culminating in the second quake at 18h57 on 12 November 1999 which rated 7.2 on the Richter scale and shook D=FCzce and Kaynasli counties in the north-western province of Bolu, some 100 kms to the east of Izmit. The jolt was felt both in Istanbul (some 260 kms to the west) and Ankara, the nation's capital, 300 kms to the east. According to the latest casualty figures, there is a confirmed death toll of 845, with nearly 5,000 people injured.


A decision has been taken by the disaster area directorate - comprising governors of the affected provinces and including the Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS) - to end the provision of hot meals to earthquake victims and start the distribution of dry food from the beginning of next month. Food preparation and distribution has been a major activity of the TRCS since the onset of the emergency. The new arrangement is being introduced for an initial three-month period, targeting persons whose houses collapsed as a result of the earthquakes or suffered medium or heavy damages. In addition, monthly distributions of four gas bottles for heaters per family will continue until the end of the winter. Aid will also be provided to earthquake survivors accommodated in all prefabricated settlements funded by the private sector. The disaster area directorate has also emphasised the crucial importance of promoting psycho-social and rehabilitation programmes throughout the quake-hit areas. Two strong aftershocks occurred in the period covered by this report. The first, mainly felt in the Yalova area on Monday 31 January at 16h38 local time, measured 4.1 on the Richter scale. The second hit Gölch=FCk, at 18h35 local time on Wednesday 9 February, with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

According to the Turkish media, 120,000 earthquake survivors are now accommodated in the completed prefabricated settlements, with some 114,000 persons still living in the 74 remaining tent cities. A considerable number of people are moving into the new facilities as the construction and delivery of prefabricated houses continues throughout the two quake-hit areas.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

Turkish Red Crescent Society

The TRCS continues to provide hot meals to quake survivors, and this activity will continue through this month. Meanwhile, the Society has conducted a tender for the purchase of 100,000 blankets, which will be kept in its disaster preparedness stock. International Federation Preparations are underway for the planning and information meeting scheduled for 17-19 February 2000 in Ankara. Representatives from between 15 and 20 Red Cross Red Crescent Societies are expected to attend the event, which will focus on the relief operation and future programmes, primarily health activities, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects, and disaster preparedness initiatives.

Health: A fact finding mission, including the International Federation's health coordinator and represen-tatives of Turkish health institutions, has been in Armenia this week for a familiarisation of facilities at the post traumatic rehabilitation centre in Yerevan, built by the International Federation following the Armenia earthquake of December 1988. The findings of this team will help to advance a proposal whereby Turkish earthquake victims with severe spinal injuries will undergo medical rehabilitation and physiotherapy treatment in this Red Cross and Red Crescent facility.

Following a request from the TRCS, the International Federation health team is planning a nursing workshop to be held in mid-year.

Red Cross and Red Crescent health-related distributions over the reporting period included: 3,657 baby hygiene parcels (distributed mainly through PNS and the International Federation's health surveillance team), and 2,500 bars of soap. In addition, some 180 litres of anti-lice shampoo have been purchased by the International Federation and will be distributed by the German Red Cross in Gölch=FCk, where a head-lice epidemic has been detected. The International Federation is also distributing 100 first aid kits (supplied by the Spanish Red Cross) to tent-cities without health facilities. With the assignment of a psycho-social delegate, the International Federation's psycho-social programme will soon be underway.

Water-sanitation: The International Federation's water-sanitation delegate participated in a coordination meeting in Bolu, attended by several NGOs involved in community projects in both quake-hit areas. The last of the Oxfam water tanks has been erected at the Yukari Kirazca prefabricated settlement near Adapazari and the British-based NGO has just announced a further donation to the International Federation appeal. In addition, 25 European toilet containers, donated by various aid agencies, have been converted to Turkish style toilets for use in Izmit's Yahya Kaptan tent-city.

Recent distributions of water-sanitation related items include: 50 garbage containers to the Yahya Kaptan tent-city in Izmit, 200 meters of water piping to the Ford Otosan tent-city in Gölch=FCk, six septic tanks to Gölch=FCk and Yalova, and 15 tonnes of calcium hypochlorite to Adapazari's municipality water-works. Relief and logistics: The International Federation logistics team has recently returned from a productive visit to the TRCS headquarters in Ankara, mainly for familiarisation on the Society's warehouse capac-ity, logistics systems and facilities, as a first step to increasing cooperation in the near future. Relief distributions continue, but at a decreased pace since most of the basic needs of the affected population are being met.

Distributions of ECHO-funded hygiene parcels are currently underway throughout the two quake-hit areas and more than 50,000 units have been dispatched to date. International Federation field liaison delegates are monitoring the final distributions and continue to assess needs for future dispatches. Close coordination has been maintained with other organisations distributing ECHO-funded hygiene parcels to ensure the efficiency of the programmes.

Relief goods received/dispatched from the Samandira warehouse

Sleeping bags
Plastic sheeting
Bed linen
Food Items
Hygiene parcels
Light vehicles/trucks
Medicaments/water materials
Kitchen sets
Stoves, gas lamps

Note: Figures from 1 October, 1999

Construction: The construction of the semi-permanent, pre-fabricated extension to the Kocaeli Univer-sity Hospital, funded by the Japanese Red Cross, has been completed. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled to take place this week and will be attended by a senior official from the Japanese Red Cross and representatives from the International Federation and TRCS. A contract has been awarded for the construction of the Izmit State Hospital. The contractor is now initiating the construction work, expected to be completed in four months. The facility will have a 130 bed-capacity and four operating theatres.

Internal Review: A specialist team from the International Federation's Geneva Secretariat was in Turkey last week reviewing the relief operation to date and also examining logistics and financial practices and procedures. The team's findings will be reflected in the plan of action and budget to be produced following the planning and information meeting on 18 February, 2000.

Participating National Societies

Belgium Red Cross: The Society is ready to start the construction of a 70-unit prefabricated settlement in Gölch=FCk after completing most of the ground work. A one-week training will be undertaken to instruct the team of 24 construction workers on methods for setting up the units. The entire settlement should be completed by the end of March, when families will move in; subject to funding, a further 32 units may be added.

French Red Cross: The Society continues to provide medicines, clothes, food and shelter-related items, including tents, heaters and gas supplies as a part of its ECHO-funded programme, due for completion on 15 February 2000, when the expatriate team in Turkey will be reduced from six to three. The French Red Cross also maintains a mobile clinic, currently operating in the village of Boztepe in Akyazi county.

German Red Cross: The Society continues to implement a wide range of reconstruction, rehabilitation, health, education and relief related projects in the two quake-hit areas. The 150-bed, former emergency response unit hospital, located in Gölch=FCk, has been partially converted into a training centre, focusing primarily on first aid, family planning, psycho-social support and physiotherapy activities. Up to 400 medical professionals are expected to benefit from this one-year programme. In addition, the German Red Cross has recently started two new reconstruction projects: a study hall for 130 medical students in D=FCzce and a health emergency centre in Yenikoy, Gölch=FCk.

Italian Red Cross: To date, the Society has distributed 13,580 ECHO-funded hygiene parcels in the environs of Yalova, Izmit, Gölch=FCk and Adapazari. Under the initial plans, distributions were to concen-trate on beneficiaries living in tent cities assisted by the TRCS. However, in conjunction with the Inter-national Federation, the target caseload has been redefined due to the increasing movement of the tent city population into prefabricated settlements. The Society has also recently signed an agreement with the TRCS for the provision of 90 mt of dry food including rice, pasta, canned vegetables, sugar and vegetable oil. In addition, the Italian Red Cross is currently seeking funds to establish a health centre in D=FCzce. Besides serving as a fully operational health clinic, the facility will also have a specialised care unit for women and children.

Spanish Red Cross: The Society has supported the TRCS and the local authorities in establishing a tent city for earthquake victims in Bolu with ECHO funds. Recent efforts have concentrated mainly on improving the tent-city's infrastructure and completing community facilities including laundry, kinder-garten, psychological support and study centres. An official opening ceremony was due to take place over the past weekend, when the management of the activities carried out by the Society were handed over to the TRCS and local authorities. During the period covered in this report, the Society has also distributed 1,280 mattresses and 320 beds in the Bolu region. In addition, the Spanish Red Cross is currently considering two new reconstruction projects: a polyclinic for the Karam=FCrsel State Hospital and a health centre in Kaynasli.

Outstanding needs

Further resources and support needed to implement the plan of action for 2000 will be detailed at the upcoming planning and information meeting in Ankara. Sourcing of all the goods and services required to undertake the International Federation's programme, as set out in the appeal of 8 September 1999 and subsequently confirmed, is now complete. Unearmarked cash contributions continue to be welcome and will be directed towards implementation of activities scheduled for the coming year. An experienced information delegate will be sought, primarily to work with the TRCS, International Federation delegates and PNS, to enhance the global and in-country visibility of ongoing Red Cross and Red Crescent activities on behalf of the earthquake victims.


Please see Annex 1 for details.

For further information please contact the following: International Federation, Geneva: Charles Eldred-Evans; tel: +41 22 730 4320; mobile: 41 79 217 3363; email: <eldred@ifrc.org> Logistics:
Birgitte Stalder-Olsen; tel: +41 22 730 4245.

Bjorn Eder
Europe Department

Peter Rees-Gildea
Operations Funding and Reporting Department