“It’s possible to produce an earthquake early warning system”, scientists at GTU say

Scientists at GTU say that it is possible to produce an earthquake early warning system for the expected Marmara earthquake.

In the 18th anniversary of the Gölcük (district of Kocaeli) earthquake that struck the Marmara region on 17 August 1999, GTU Civil Engineering faculty announced that they will be building up stations that will provide data to the national earthquake network. Stating that they will construct a ground testing environment for all national and international researchers working in the field of earthquake early warning and building health monitoring systems, the scholars commented that it is possible to produce an earthquake early warning signal for the expected Marmara earthquake.


SEISMIC STATION RISING AT GTU

Professor Bülent Akbaş, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at GTU, together with Assistant Professor Abdullah Can Zülfikar and Assistant Professor Ahmet Anıl Dindar, who are the deputy heads of the same department, made important remarks on the anniversary of the earthquake. Pointing out to the fact that the risk of another big earthquake still continues, Professor Akbaş commented: “Around the world, within the concept of ‘smart city’ developed in recent years, there are studies carried out to use modern technologies in order to mitigate disaster risks. Following the latest developments, we are continuing our research and application projects covering the development of ‘early warning’, ‘damage-loss estimation’, and ‘building and ground monitoring systems’. Before the end of 2017, as an example of putting the theoretically-prepared ground and building monitoring systems into practice in the field, at the GTU campus, we will be building up seismic stations that will provide data for the national earthquake network. That way, regional and on-site early warning algorithm developments tests will be possible to carry out. Our goal is to create a ground testing environment for all the national and international researchers working in the field of earthquake early warning and building health monitoring systems, and provide an opportunity for new and young researchers and multi-party collaborations.”

“10-SECOND EARLY WARNING WILL PREVENT MANY DAMAGES”


Professor Akbaş continued his remarks stating that the pilot studies conducted at the Department of Civil Engineering at GTU revealed that it was possible to produce an early warning signal for 10 seconds and less for Kocaeli, for the expected earthquake in the Marmara region. Akbaş pointed out to the fact that this time period is very important in terms of automatic shutdowns of systems such as electricity, natural gas, and elevators at the industrial and critical facilities, and also for taking personal precautions for protection and disaster management. Akbaş said: “At the Department of Civil Engineering, we are developing internet-based damage-loss estimation algorithms that all local authorities may use. As for building health monitoring systems, which help determine the damage and process data received from industrial and critical facilities after earthquakes, we are making use of the outputs of the recently completed project participated by the researchers at our department and titled “Developing a National Measurement System for Monitoring Building Health.”

EVEN MORE PRECAUTIONS NEEDED FOR OUR REGION AT THE HEART OF THE INDUSTRY

Adding that using regional/on-site early warning and building health monitoring systems at the industrial facilities in Kocaeli and its surrounding region, where 40% of the Turkish industry is located, would enable the avoiding of downtimes after earthquakes, Akbaş stated “At the facilities where these systems are built, it will be possible to decrease insurance risk premiums due to disasters. In the aftermath of 1999, local governments have played a great role in raising social awareness and conducting educational activities for disasters. In terms of disaster-preparedness too, local governments are sure to make use of the systems we have mentioned. In this regard, the collaboration between GTU and Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, which attaches great importance to these matters, actively exists.