We Will Recover Through Disaster-Resilient Societies

February 15, 2022

After the disaster that shook all of Türkiye, we continue to heal our wounds together. As Gebze Technical University, it is our primary duty to carry out scientific studies in order to prevent loss of life and property in future earthquakes. We have signed a "Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA)" with Kagawa University in Japan as part of the Project for the Establishment of a Research and Education Complex for Disaster-Resilient Societies in this area.

Many universities from the two countries and authorized institutions in disaster risk mitigation will support the project, which will be led by GTU MARTEST Center and Japan's Kagawa University. Within the scope of the project, a comprehensive and evidence-based open information platform will be created for disaster risk mitigation. In this context, disaster awareness is planned to be developed in order to disseminate earthquake engineering technology, create an educational environment and  earthquake-resistant societies. The project group will carry out detailed seismic and geodetic studies on the North Anatolian Fault line, which caused the most destructive earthquakes in Türkiye's history. At the same time, possible risks in the expected Marmara Earthquake are aimed to be mitigated in light of these studies. At the meeting held at Marmara Center for Application and Research for Disaster-Resistant Structures, Earth Scientist Prof. Dr. Yoshiyuki Kaneda from Kagawa University also evaluated the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş. Stating that the lessons learned from the earthquakes in Japan were put into practice immediately, Kaneda said: "Both Türkiye and Japan, both countries are vulnerable to disasters, and earthquakes occur very often. But we have learned lessons from the great earthquakes in Japan in the past. Especially in the 1995 Kobe earthquake, almost all the buildings in Kobe were destroyed. We suffered great damage in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. But we've seen what was wrong there. We understood the importance of constructing earthquake-resistant buildings and buildings with insulators. We put them into practice. I think the most important thing here is to apply the lessons learned."

Stating that the Japanese government had built a shaking table after the earthquakes, Kaneda said: "We are experimenting with how earthquake-resistant buildings should be built. There is an earthquake warning system in Japan. Thanks to this system, we receive a warning message 10-20 seconds before an earthquake. This is an evacuation call from where we are. It gives us the time we need to wait or take action."

Kaneda also said that he had never witnessed two major earthquakes, such as the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes, on the same day, and added: "An earthquake similar to this happened in Kumamoto in Japan in 2016, but it was not as big as the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes; I have never seen anything like this." Kagawa University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Yoshiyuki Kaneda handed the earthquake aid collected in cash by Kagawa University Faculty Members for the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş in Türkiye to Rector Prof. Dr. Hacı Ali Mantar to be delivered to the earthquake victims. Through Yoshiyuki Kaneda, we would like to thank the Japanese search and rescue teams for their support in the earthquake area, and all considerate Kagawa University Faculty Members who provided their support for our earthquake victims.

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