Turkey observes 18th anniversary of Marmara earthquake

KOCAELI, Turkey

Turkey commemorated 18th anniversary of a powerful earthquake, which took the lives of thousands of people.

On Wednesday and Thursday, commemorating events of the August 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake were held in many provinces of Turkey including Kocaeli, where the epicenter of the 7.4 magnitude quake Golcuk district is located.

In a statement commemorating the earthquake, Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Ozlu said it is impossible to forget what happened 18 years ago.

He said the Justice and Development Party's governments provided every means to get over the trauma of the earthquake.

He said that solid structures were built in the recent period, hoping that continuation of these efforts would continue without forgetting the reality that 'earthquake does not kill, but the buildings kill'.

Kocaeli governor Huseyin Aksoy also said in a statement that Turkish state and nation showed a great sense of solidarity in the aftermath of the Marmara earthquake.

The necessary lessons should be learnt from the earthquakes and it should not be forgotten that Turkey is placed on an active seismic belt, he added.

He said the buildings should be made earthquake-resistant by using the latest technology.

According to the report of a Turkish parliament investigation committee on earthquakes in 2010, 17,480 people died at the earthquake and around 45,000 were injured.

The earthquake had caused the sixth largest economic loss as compared to other quakes during the period between 1900 and 2009, with an estimated loss of $20 billion, according to the Emergency Events Database's website.

Source: Anadolu Agency