Monday, August 17, 2009

10 Years Ago

Exactly 10 years ago today, a very big earthquake struck Northwestern Turkey. There were officially 17,127 people killed and 43,959 injured, although more than 10,000 people were never found.
Reports show that 120,000 poorly engineered houses were damaged beyond repair. 600,000 people were left homeless after the earth quake.

Unfortunately, Turkey is a very centralized country and most of its industries are in this area, therefore a big population lives there. Oil refineries, several automotive plants, and the Turkish navy headquarters and arsenal in Gölcük.

This increased the severity of the loss of life and property.

Turkish soldiers were given 45 days leave to help rescue their relatives. Bodies were buried quickly in mass graves to stop any spread of disease.


My dad's family lives in Izmit and fortunately we did not lost anyone in the Earthquake. My cousin lost everything since their building was completely destroyed. He and his wife and son weren't home as they'd left the house 2 hours before the earthquake took place and were the only survivors of the 15 stories building.

Photo : Yann Arthus-Bertrand

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