Off topic but interesting read

Not sure if I can share this but it is such an interesting article about the earthquake in Turkey.

Though it has nothing to do with home inspections, it is about building regulations and what can happen if not adhered to. If not appropriate, I will remove.

In order of importance:

  1. It was very powerful! What people usually miss is that the Richter scale is logarithmic. In layman’s terms this means that a 7.8R earthquake is 10 times stronger than a 6.8R and 100 times stronger than a 5.8R.

  2. It happened in the middle of the night, when almost all inhabitants were in their homes, sleeping.

  3. A lot of the collapsed buildings were not designed based on modern building codes. Even more of them were not constructed based on modern antiseismic rules because certain criminals wanted to make more profit. Photos of missing rebars, of large/smooth riverbed rocks inside structural elements, even of foam (insulation) in columns and beams are horrifying. And they are horrifying because they are extreme examples. Who knows how many other things took place, like using low quality cement, using less rebar, using lower grade steel, not paying attention to the rebar joints. All the points above are critical in whether a building survives without a crack, with damages that can be repaired, with unrepairable damages but still standing allowing the residents to vacate, or whether it collapses in minutes killing everyone inside!
    The Civil Engineers’ Chambers building is a good example (it would have been a perfect example if it was taller because, trust me, it would still stand perhaps with a bit more damage):

And because we only focus on buildings… here’s a highway:

Here’s what it should look like:


In the photo there’s only the surface layer and the subgrade. Maybe there’s a small Subbase, but literally NO base.
Before you knock down the importance of that, when compared to the collapsed buildings, those highways and roads would have been used by the emergency crews to reach the disaster areas more quickly. They would also have alleviated traffic congestion from people rushing out of the affected areas.

For fairness’ sake I’m amending this part by adding this video posted in the comments by Altay

It looks as if this specific part of the road did have layering and the damage was caused by severe ground movement. It’s not 100% certain (the video is low-q) but it looks like the original photo is misleading. Edit added, because it’s better to be wrong than spread fake news. We have too much of that- but that’s a different story!

  1. It was followed by a 2nd major earthquake a few hours later.

  2. It happened during a cold spell, in winter. That is very crucial for people who are injured because it is easy to die from hypothermia if you suffer trauma and blood loss.

  3. This is the first occasion that I heard that there are amnesty laws in Turkey and they legalise potentially unsafe structures. This is a very serious issue and should be immediately reversed. Not just because it allows certain contractors to build unsafe buildings and then legalise them, but because it passes the message that contractors can build unsafe buildings and if someone accuses or checks them, they can legalise their crimes!
    Yiannis Papadopoulos’s answer to Why was the last earthquake in Turkey so deadly? - Quora


I was talking to some people about this exact thing… how building codes, regulations, etc. are often viewed as an annoyance but when something like this happens, it’s pretty clear why we have the rules here in the US. Add in the criminal element in Turkey and the comparatively inferior rules/codes they have weren’t even being followed. Just a terrible situation all around.

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Interesting. I wasn’t aware, for example, that the Richter scale was logarithmic. Thanks for the insight.

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, amazing…


Having lived in earthquake prone areas of the US It always amazes me how construction rules, regulations and techniques are so disregarded in some countries that are in earthquake zones. Good Read!

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