ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's emergency management agency is warning that up to 30,000 people could be killed in Istanbul if a magnitude-7.5 earthquake were to hit the area.
Murat Nurlu, a director at Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, made the comments Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the Aug. 17, 1999, magnitude-7.4 earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people in northwestern Turkey. His comments were reported Thursday by private news channel CNN Turk.
Speaking at a disaster preparedness workshop organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Nurlu said an estimated 50,000 people could be critically injured and 44,802 buildings could collapse. Some 2.4 million people would be left homeless.
CNN Turk said national and municipal agencies have begun making preparations for such a disaster, including designating gathering spots and establishing temporary shelters.