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Microzonation for Earthquake Risk Mitigation

The Kocaeli earthquake of August 17, 1999 had its epicentre near Izmit at a depth of 17 km. The magnitude was 7.4 Mw. More than 17,000 people died and the damage exceeded 30 billion US Dollars.

In order to reduce damage in a future earthquake, it is important that the weak points that came to light in the damage pattern of the earthquake be avoided in future de-velopment. The earthquake risk can be reduced by means of various preventative measures. The most effective measures are the reduction of the vulnerability of buildings and other structures and the development and application of appropriate land use plans (microzonation). Microzonation relates earthquake hazard to corre-sponding utilization and building regulations.

The purpose of this project is to advance the state-of-the-art of land use management for earthquake safety in Turkey. Two pilot provinces in the area affected by the 1999 Marmara earthquake will be the object of detailed scientific study for the development of microzonation maps which characterize the earthquake hazard in detail and relate site-specific hazards to specific occupancy and construction recommendations. The project will provide technical assistance to the scientific evaluation of seismological, geotechnical and structural factors related to microzonation. It will provide instru-mentation to enhance laboratory and data collection capabilities at Sakarya Univer-sity and at the Earthquake Research Department of the General Directorate of Dis-aster Affairs. Specific microzonation maps will be prepared for the pilot areas of the provinces of Sakarya and Kocaeli. Studies will be carried out on the implementation of land use regulation and the economic and social benefits and costs of land use management for earthquake safety. Lessons learned from these two pilot cases will be used to develop a basic manual for seismic microzonation and land use manage-ment in Turkey. This manual will provide the basis for the development of a curricu-lum and teaching materials on seismic microzonation and land use management.

A team of research institutions, and government agencies at the national and local levels will carry out the project. The project team will include leading Turkish and in-ternational institutions. Aside from the direct benefit of the products produced for the pilot region it is envisioned that this project will make a significant contribution to earthquake safety throughout Turkey and advance the general understanding and practice of land use management for safer communities around the world.

The following proposal updates a draft of November 1999. It represents the results of close collaboration and cooperation with numerous Turkish and international coun-terparts. Detailed consultation has taken place during eight visits to Turkey by the project authors over the past year.