BAKU. TurkicWorld :
As the Marmara region braces for the looming threat of a major earthquake, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has assured the public that the area boasts one of the most advanced seismic monitoring networks in the world, reports TurkicWorld with the reference to Hurriyet Daily News.
The region with over 26.6 million residents that last suffered heavy damage from the 1999 earthquakes is on edge, according to repeated warnings by experts about the expected quake.
With over 260 observation stations and a multitude of seismometer devices, the region is well-prepared to track and respond to seismic activity, AFAD's earthquake and risk reduction head Orhan Tatar said.
"It is one of the best regions where seismic activity is monitored in the most intense and effective way with different methods," he stated. "We have drillings made to a depth of around 300 meters underground and monitoring systems with different sensors at different depths that we place at every 100 meters."
Tatar further elaborated on the monitoring capabilities, stating, "In addition to some monitoring networks where we can track small crustal movements, there are sensors called 'strain gauges' where we can track activity, especially on the fault that we expect to cause the earthquake."
To ensure the real-time monitoring and evaluation of seismic data, AFAD operates a 24/7 earthquake monitoring and evaluation center within its earthquake department, he suggested.
Currently, Türkiye has 1,145 earthquake recording stations, with plans to increase this number to 1,185 by the end of the year and further expansion in the near future, according to Tatar.
The Marmara region alone hosts 262 earthquake observation stations, supplemented by seismometer devices known as "derinkuyu" (deep well) in both the eastern and western parts of the region, he informed.
Tatar emphasized the importance of preparedness, especially for Istanbul, which is at high risk. He outlined a two-stage plan for the city, focusing on intervention and evacuation.
"Especially for Istanbul, evacuation plans need to be healthy, feasible and responsive in the field," he explained. "These studies are being carried out intensively within our AFAD Istanbul directorate, especially with all our institutions that are stakeholders in the Türkiye Disaster Response Plan."