1999 İzmit earthquake

1999 İzmit earthquake

title= 1999 İzmit earthquake
date= August 17 1999, 0002 UTC

depth = 17 km
location = 41.81ºN 30.08ºE [cite web |url=http://quake.usgs.gov/research/deformation/modeling/papers/barka/17Agust1999/17Agust1999.html |title= The 1999 Izmit Earthquake|accessdate=2008-06-21 |work= |date= ] [A. Barka,The 17 August 1999 Izmit Earthquake, Science, 285 (17 September 1999), pp. 1858-1859.]
magnitude = 7.6 Mw [http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/eq_depot/1999/eq_990817/ NEIC Izmit earthquake page] ] , 7.5 Mw [http://www.koeri.boun.edu.tr/sismo/mudim/katalog.asp Turkish National Earthquake Research Station's Database]
countries affected = flag|Turkey
casualties = 17,118 dead, 50,000 injured|
The 1999 İzmit earthquake was an approximately 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on August 17, 1999, at about 3:01am local time. The event lasted for 37 seconds, killing between seventeen and forty thousand people and leaving approximately half a million people homeless.

Damage and casualties

Casualty figures vary widely between sources, possibly due to confusion, mistakes or inadequate information in the wake of the disaster. The official death toll is placed at 17,127 killed and 43,953 injured, but many sources suggest the actual figure may have been closer to 40,000 dead and a similar number injured. [Citation | last = MARZA | first = Vasile I. | title = ON THE DEATH TOLL OF THE 1999 IZMIT (TURKEY) MAJOR EARTHQUAKE | year = 2004 | place = ESC General Assembly Papers, Potsdam | publisher = European Seismological Commission | url = http://www.esc-web.org/papers/potsdam_2004/ss_1_marza.pdf] The death toll increased in winter, due to poor conditions the survivors were living in within the shelters and on the street. Reports from September 1999 show that 120,000 houses were damaged beyond repair, 50,000 houses were heavily damaged, 2000 other buildings collapsed and 4000 other buildings were heavily damaged.Fact|date=March 2008

The earthquake was heavily felt in the industrialized and densely populated urban areas of the country, including 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. The earthquake caused a subsequent fire due to collapse of a tower in TUPRAS oil refinery. The refinery had over 700,000 tons of oil stored. It took several days to get the fire under control.

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.


The earthquake had a rupture length of 150 kilometers (93 miles) extending from the city of Düzce all the way into the Sea of Marmara along the Gulf of İzmit. Offsets along the rupture were as large as 5.7 meters (18.7 ft) (Reilinger, "et al.", 2000).

Izmit earthquake occurred along the western portion of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). The Anatolian Plate, which consists primarily of Turkey, is being pushed west about 2-2.5 cm (0.8-1.0 in) a year, as it is squeezed between the Eurasian Plate on the north, and both the African Plate and the Arabian Plate on the south. Major earthquakes in Turkey result from slips along the NAFZ or the Eastern Anatolian Fault.

Many buildings were also destroyed by the earthquake in Turkey's largest city Istanbul.

International Response

Greece was the first nation to pledge aid and support to hard-stricken Turkey [ [http://www.hri.org/news/greek/eraen/1999/99-08-18.eraen.html Greek and International Aid to Turkey] ] . Within hours of the earthquake, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted their counterparts in Turkey, and the minister sent his personal envoys to Turkey. The Greek Ministry of Public Order sent in a rescue team of 24 people and 2 trained rescue dogs, as well as fire extinguishing planes to help with putting out the fire in the TUPRAS Oil refinery.

The U.K announced an immediate grant of £50,000 to help the Turkish Red Crescent, while the International Red Cross and Red Crescent promised £4.5 million to help victims. Blankets, medical supplies and food were flown from Stansted airport. Engineers from Thames Water went to help restore water supplies. India also assisted by providing 32,000 tents and 2 million rupees to help in the reconstruction process.In total, rescue teams from twelve countries assisted in the rescue effort.US President Bill Clinton and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later visited Istanbul and İzmit to examine the level of destruction and meet with the survivors.


ee also

* North Anatolian Fault
* Greek-Turkish earthquake diplomacy
* 1999 Athens earthquake

External links

* [http://nisee.berkeley.edu/turkey/report.html Initial Geotechnical Observations]
* [http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/geology/turkey/index.php İzmit Earthquake I]
* [http://www.eas.slu.edu/Earthquake_Center/TURKEY/ İzmit Earthquake II]

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