Tags: Turkey | quake | housing | rethink

Turkey Quake Forces Housing Rethink

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 09:46 AM EST

Turkey's prime minister says he has ordered architectural changes in an eastern region where 51 people were killed in an earthquake.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the high level of casualties on mud-brick buildings used in the area.

Survivors have been huddling around fires in near-freezing temperatures, as rescue teams hand out food.

The 6.0-magnitude quake struck before dawn on Monday, toppling buildings in five villages.

The destruction was said to be worst in the Kurdish village of Okcular, where at least 15 people were killed.

"Unfortunately, houses made of sun-dried brick constitute the architecture in the region," said Mr Erdogan.

An earthquake with this magnitude should not usually cause any deaths

"We have given necessary directives to the provincial authorities to change the architectural structure."

Mr Erdogan also said he had ordered the start of a reconstruction project in the area.

He was speaking amid calls for Turkey to learn lessons from the quake, which commentators said would not have caused such a high toll in other earthquake-prone countries such as Japan.

"An earthquake with this magnitude should not usually cause any deaths, but mud-brick houses and other buildings that are not resistant to earthquakes can cause so much death and destruction," earthquake expert Ahmet Mete Isikara told Turkey's Hurryiet Daily News and Economic Review.

A commentary in the country's Vatan newspaper said: "Those who rule the country... should prove to us through their actions that they have learnt their lessons from what happened."

To read full BBC story — Go Here Now.

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Tuesday, 09 March 2010 09:46 AM
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