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Implications for Earthquake Risk Reduction in the United States from the Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake 8-17-99

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    of August 17, 1999

 U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1193, 64 p.,  is available free on application to:

U.S. Geological Survey
Information Services
Box 25286, Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225

"The moment magnitude ( Mw ) 7.4 Kocaeli, Turkey, earthquake struck the Kocaeli province of northwestern Turkey on Tuesday, August 17, 1999, at 3:02 a.m. local time.  The cause of the earthquake was the sudden breakage, or rupture, of the Earth's crust along a western branch of the 1,500-km-long North Anatolian fault system.  The total length of the fault rupture was about 110 km.  The region hit by the earthquake is the industrial heartland and the most densely populated section of Turkey.  According to official Turkish government estimates, the earthquake caused 17,127 deaths and 43,953 injuries, and displaced more than 250,000 people.  Approximately 121 tent cities were required for emergency housing.  Approximately 214,000 residential units and 30,500 business units were lightly to heavily damaged.

"Most of the collapsed and damaged buildings were of reinforced concrete construction.  Their poor performance was due primarily to the poor quality of construction and failure to enforce the local building code.  Peak ground accelerations recorded close to the fault were below average for a Mw 7.4 event [that's how you get an average].  The earthquake's strong velocity pulse and long duration, however, were important factors in the collapse of and damage to residences."

James Bela

Oregon Earthquake AwarenessTM        /      The Quake NorthwestTM
"We Have Nothing to Fear But Shear Itself"        /        "We're All Subducting In This Together"
           "Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness."  -- James Thurber