1999 İzmit earthquake

The 1999 İzmit earthquake (also known as the Kocaeli, Gölcük, or Marmara earthquake) occurred on 17 August at 03:01:40 local time in northwestern Turkey. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.6 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The event lasted for 37 seconds, killing around 17,000 people[5] and left approximately half a million people homeless. The nearby city of İzmit was severely damaged.

1999 İzmit earthquake
1999 İzmit earthquake is located in Turkey
1999 İzmit earthquake
UTC time1999-08-17 00:01:38
ISC event1655218
Local date17 August 1999
Local time03:01
Duration37 seconds[1]
Magnitude7.6 Mw[2][3]
Depth15 km (9.3 mi)[2]
Epicenter40°49′N 29°59′E / 40.81°N 29.98°ECoordinates: 40°49′N 29°59′E / 40.81°N 29.98°E[2]
FaultNorth Anatolian Fault
Areas affectedTurkey
Total damage3–8.5 billion USD[3]
Max. intensityIX (Violent) [4]
Peak acceleration.3–.4g[1]
Tsunami2.52 m (8 ft 3 in)[3]
Casualties17,118–17,127 dead[3]
43,953–50,000 injured[3]


The earthquake occurred along the western portion of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). The Anatolian Plate, which consists primarily of Turkey, is being pushed west about 2–2.5 cm (0.8–1.0 in) a year, as it is squeezed between the Eurasian Plate to the north and the Arabian Plate to the south.[6] Major earthquakes in Turkey result mainly from slip along the NAFZ or the East Anatolian Fault.

The Izmit earthquake had a rupture length of 150 kilometers (93 mi) extending from the city of Düzce all the way into the Sea of Marmara along the Gulf of İzmit. Offsets along the rupture were as large as 5.7 meters (18.7 ft).[7]

From the timing of P-wave and S-wave arrivals at seismometers there is strong evidence that the rupture propagated eastwards from the epicentre at speeds in excess of the S-wave velocity, making this a supershear earthquake.[8]


Destruction in Istanbul was concentrated in the Avcılar district to the west of the city. Avcılar was built on relatively weak ground mainly composed of poorly consolidated Cenozoic sedimentary rocks, which makes this district vulnerable to any earthquake.[9]

Izmit eart2
Damage from the Izmit earthquake

The earthquake was heavily felt in this industrialized and densely populated urban area of the country, including oil refineries, several automotive plants, and the Turkish navy headquarters and arsenal in Gölcük, increasing the severity of the loss of life and property. The earthquake also caused considerable damage in Istanbul, about 70 kilometres (43 mi) away from the earthquake's epicenter.[1]

An official Turkish estimate of October 19, 1999, placed the toll at 17,127 killed and 43,959 injured, but many sources suggest the actual figure may have been closer to 45,000 dead and a similar number injured.[5] Reports from September 1999 show that 120,000 poorly engineered houses were damaged beyond repair, 30,000 houses were heavily damaged, 2,000 other buildings collapsed and 4,000 other buildings were heavily damaged. 300,000 people were left homeless after the earthquake.

There was extensive damage to several bridges and other structures on the Trans-European Motorway (European route E80), including 20 viaducts, 5 tunnels, and some overpasses. Damage ranged from spalling concrete to total deck collapse.[10]


The earthquake sparked a disastrous fire at the Tüpraş petroleum refinery. The fire began at a state-owned tank farm and was initiated by naphtha that had sloshed out of a holding tank. Breakage in water pipelines, results of the quake, nullified attempts at extinguishing the fire. Aircraft were called in to douse the flames with foam. The fire spread over the next few days, warranting the evacuation of the area within three miles of the refinery. The fire was declared under control five days later after claiming at least seventeen tanks and untold amounts of complex piping.[11]


The earthquake caused a tsunami in the Sea of Marmara that was about 2.5 meters high. The tsunami caused the deaths of 155 people.[12]


A massive international response was mounted to assist in digging for survivors and assisting the wounded and homeless. Rescue teams were dispatched within 24–48 hours of the disaster, and the assistance to the survivors was channeled through NGOs and the Red Crescent and local search and rescue organizations.

USGS Shakemap - 1999 Izmit earthquake
USGS ShakeMap showing the intensity of the event

The following table shows the breakdown of rescue teams by country in the affected locations:

Location Foreign Search and Rescue Teams From:
Gölcük, Kocaeli Hungary, Israel, France, South Korea, Belgium, Russia
Yalova Germany, Hungary, Israel, Poland,[13] United Kingdom, France, Japan, Austria, Romania, South Korea
Avcılar, Istanbul Germany, Greece
İzmit, Kocaeli Russia, Hungary, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United States, Iceland, South Korea
Sakarya Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Egypt
Düzce Poland,[13] United Kingdom
Bayrampasa, Istanbul Italy
Kartal, Istanbul Azerbaijan

Search and Rescue Effort as of August 19, 1999. Source: USAID[14]

In total, rescue teams from twelve countries assisted in the rescue effort.

Oil Spill Response Limited were activated by BP to deploy from the United Kingdom to the Tupras Refinery where their responders successfully contained the previously uncontrolled discharge of oil from the site into the sea.[15]

The U.K announced an immediate grant of £50,000 to help the Turkish Red Crescent, while the International Red Cross and Red Crescent pledged £4.5 million to help victims. Blankets, medical supplies and food were flown from Stansted airport. Engineers from Thames Water went to help restore water supplies. India also assisted by providing 32,000 tents and 2 million rupees to help in the reconstruction process.

US President Bill Clinton[16] and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later visited Istanbul and İzmit to examine the level of destruction and meet with the survivors.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Barka, A. (1999), "The 17 August 1999 Izmit Earthquake", Science, 285 (5435): 1858–1859, doi:10.1126/science.285.5435.1858
  2. ^ a b c ISC (2014), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 1.05, International Seismological Centre
  3. ^ a b c d e USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey
  4. ^ USGS (December 1, 2008), EXPO-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2007-12, United States Geological Survey
  5. ^ a b Marza, Vasile I. (2004). "On the death toll of the 1999 Izmit (Turkey) major earthquake" (PDF). ESC General Assembly Papers, Potsdam: European Seismological Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
  6. ^ USGS (June 18, 2012). "Tectonic summary". Historic Earthquakes Magnitude 7.6 TURKEY 1999 August 17 00:01:39 UTC. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  7. ^ Reilinger, R.E.; Ergintav S.; Bürgmann R.; McClusky S.; Lenk O.; Barka A.; Gurkan O.; Hearn L.; Feigl K.L.; Cakmak R.; Aktug B.; Ozener H. & Töksoz M.N. (2000). "Coseismic and Postseismic Fault Slip for the 17 August 1999, M = 7.5, Izmit, Turkey Earthquake" (PDF). Science. 289 (5484): 1519–1524. Bibcode:2000Sci...289.1519R. doi:10.1126/science.289.5484.1519.
  8. ^ Bouchon, M.; M.-P. Bouin; H. Karabulut; M. N. Toksöz; M. Dietrich; A. J. Rosakis (2001). "How Fast is Rupture During an Earthquake ? New Insights from the 1999 Turkey Earthquakes". Geophys. Res. Lett. 28 (14): 2723–2726. Bibcode:2001GeoRL..28.2723B. doi:10.1029/2001GL013112.
  9. ^ Ergin, M.; Özalaybey S.; Aktar A. & Yalçin M.N. (2004). "Site amplification at Avcılar, Istanbul" (PDF). Tectonophysics. 391 (1–4): 335. Bibcode:2004Tectp.391..335E. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2004.07.021.
  10. ^ Lusas software, "Seismic Assessment of the Mustafa Inan Viaduct"
  11. ^ Scawthorn; Eidinger; Schiff, eds. (2005). Fire Following Earthquake. Reston, VA: ASCE, NFPA. ISBN 9780784407394. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28.
  12. ^ National Geophysical Data Center. "Tsunami event". Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Komenda Miejska Państwowej Straży Pożarnej w Nowym Sączu".
  14. ^ Tang, Alex K., ed. (2000). Izmit (Kocaeli), Turkey, earthquake of August 17, 1999 including Duzce Earthquake of November 12, 1999 Lifeline Performance. American Society of Civil Engineers. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-7844-0494-2.
  15. ^ Girgin S. (2011). "The natech events during the 17 August 1999 Kocaeli earthquake: aftermath and lessons learned" (PDF). Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 11 (4): 1129–1140. Bibcode:2011NHESS..11.1129G. doi:10.5194/nhess-11-1129-2011.
  16. ^ Bill Clinton visits İzmit, Turkey

External links

1999 Düzce earthquake

The 1999 Düzce earthquake occurred on 12 November at 18:57:22 local time with a moment magnitude of 7.2 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), causing damage and at least 845 fatalities in Düzce, Turkey. The epicenter was approximately 100 km (62 mi) to the east of the extremely destructive 1999 İzmit earthquake that happened a few months earlier. Both strike-slip earthquakes occurred on the North Anatolian Fault.

Amiral Orhan Aydın Sports Hall

The Amiral Orhan Aydın Sports Hall (Turkish: Amiral Orhan Aydın Spor Salonu) is an indoor arena located in Marmaris town of Muğla Province, Turkey. Owned by the Marmaris Municipality, it was opened March 1999. The venue, which is suitable for use of basketball and volleyball competitions, has a seating capacity of 1,040. The venue was renamed in honor of Rear admiral Orhan Aydın, Commander of

the Turkish Naval Academy, who died as a result of the 1999 İzmit earthquake at the Turkish Navy headquarters in Gölcük on August 17.The facility consists of also six tennis courts, a bowling alley, a squash tennis court, a futsal pitch, a fitness center as well as sauna and whirlpool tub for recreation, which are in service since May 2001.

Association for the Support of Contemporary Living

Association for the Support of Contemporary Living (Turkish: Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği) is a non-profit NGO in Turkey. The main office is in İstanbul and there are 103 branch offices nationwide. The association helps girls across Turkey obtain an education, ultimately promoting gender equality.

Avcılar, Istanbul

Avcılar is a district of Istanbul, Turkey, out of town on the European side of the city, just to the west of the Küçükçekmece inlet of the Sea of Marmara.

Aykut Barka

Aykut Barka (December 16, 1951, Fatih, Istanbul – February 1, 2002) was a Turkish earth scientist specialized in earthquake research. He is best known for his contributions to understanding the behaviour of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ), one of the most dangerous active faults in the world.

Ediz Yıldırımer

Ediz Yıldırımer (pronounced [eˈdiz ˈjɯɫdɯˈɾɯmeɾ]; born October 25, 1993) is a Turkish freestyle swimmer competing particularly in the 800 m and 1500 m events. He represented his country at the 2008 Summer Olympics without advancing to the final. With his age of 14, he was the youngest ever Turkish athlete to take part at the Olympics.

Emergency medical services in Ukraine

In Ukraine, emergency medical services are provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Medical Services (UEMS), a special type of government rescue service, the main task of which is to provide free of charge medical assistance to victims, rescuers and any other persons who take part in the response to and/or recovery process after incidents of any kind.

Ukrainian Emergency Medical Service (UEMS) is a state service, that functions at both a national level (central level) and regional level.

The national level is represented by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Ukrainian national disaster and emergency medicine centre.

At the Regional level there are 24 regional centres (one for each oblast) and a further special regional centre for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. There are additional municipal command posts in the autonomous cities of Kiev and Sevastopol.

Gölcük Naval Base

Gölcük Naval Base (Turkish: Gölcük Deniz Ana Üssü) is the main base of the Turkish Navy on the east coast of the Sea of Marmara in Gölcük, Kocaeli. It is the principal base for logistic support with various facilities stretched over 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) of land.In addition to the workplaces, the base houses apartment-like barracks, social facilities, a military hospital, a military museum and an archive for naval history.The shipyard at the base is capable of constructing frigates, submarines, fast attack boats and auxiliary vessels with high technology in recognized standards.

Gültepe Tunnel

The Gültepe Tunnel (Turkish: Gültepe Tüneli), is a motorway tunnel constructed on the Istanbul–Ankara motorway in Kocaeli Province, northwestern Turkey. It was opened 1984.

It is situated on the Gültepe Hill west of İzmit. The 639–584-metre (2,096–1,916 ft) long twin-tube tunnel carries two lanes of traffic in each direction.

The tunnel was constructed in the 1980s. During the 1999 İzmit earthquake, the tunnel was light damaged. In 2012, the tunnel's both tubes were reinforced. In the time period of 2013–2014, the tunnel was modernized for traffic safety. Around 55,000 vehicles pass through the tunnel in both directions daily.

Hereke Tunnel

The Hereke Tunnel (Turkish: Hereke Tüneli), is a motorway tunnel constructed on the Istanbul–Ankara motorway in Kocaeli Province, northwestern Turkey. It was opened to traffic in 1984.

It is situated in Körfez district of Kocaeli Province. The 281–285-metre (922–935 ft) long twin-tube tunnel carries three lanes of traffic in each direction.

The tunnel was constructed in the 1980s. During the 1999 İzmit earthquake, the tunnel was light damaged. In 2012, the tunnel's both tubes were reinforced. In the time period of 2013–2014, the tunnel was modernized for traffic safety. Around 55,000 vehicles pass through the tunnel in both directions daily.

Kocaeli University

The University of Kocaeli (KOU) is a state university in Kocaeli, Turkey. It was founded as the Academy of Engineering and Architecture of Kocaeli in 1976. The electrical and mechanical engineering departments, basic sciences, and department of modern languages were the original departments of the academy. It became a part of Yıldız University in 1982.

On July 1992, the Turkish government decided to build 22 universities nationwide, including Kocaeli University. Before the 1999 İzmit earthquake, which can be regarded as the turning point for the rebirth of the university, Kocaeli University had approximately 20,000 students, 1,150 educational staff and a campus of 650,000 square meters. Kocaeli University lost nearly 75% of its physical structure in the earthquake, but its prior expansion site Arslanbey Campus rapidly compensated for the university's losses.The university moved to Umuttepe Campus in 2004.

Kocaeli University's central Umuttepe Campus is located just outside Izmit in the region of Kocaeli, the most heavily industrialized region of Turkey. Most of its faculties are in this campus, except the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Faculty of Architecture & Design, the Faculty of Dentistry, and the Faculty of Animal Husbandry.

Istanbul is only 90 kilometres (56 mi) away, and its secondary international airport was developed on a site 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Izmit, making the university much more accessible in recent years. Since Kocaeli is a near neighbour of Istanbul, a large number of its students come from Istanbul.

The university has established a department of international relations which monitors Bologna developments closely and oversees KOU's participation in the Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci student mobility schemes. With membership in the European University Association, KOU is aiming for greater international recognition of its academic work.

The university, while focusing on technical and engineering subjects, offers an extensive selection of courses in social sciences and arts as well. Some steps toward certification by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) are being taken by the Faculty of Engineering, such as adaptation of course content in engineering majors.

Korutepe Tunnel

The Korutepe Tunnel (Turkish: Korutepe Tüneli), is a motorway tunnel constructed on the Istanbul–Ankara motorway in Kocaeli Province, northwestern Turkey.

It is situated on the Korutepe Hill west of İzmit. The 1,028–1,088-metre (3,373–3,570 ft) long twin-tube tunnel carries two lanes of traffic in each direction. The Gültepe Tunnel follows it in the west direction.

The tunnel was constructed in the 1980s. During the 1999 İzmit earthquake, the tunnel was light damaged. In 2012, the tunnel's both tubes were reinforced. In the time period of 2013–2014, the tunnel was modernized for traffic safety. Around 55,000 vehicles pass through the tunnel in both directions daily.

Monica Novotny

Monica Novotny is a former news anchor for MSNBC.

Pertev Pasha Mosque

Pertev Mehmet Paşa Mosque, also known as Yeni Cuma Cami meaning "New Friday Mosque" in Turkish, is a 16th-century Ottoman mosque in the town of Izmit, Turkey. The architect was Mimar Sinan. It was built for Pertev Mehmed Paşa, an Ottoman vizier during the reigns of sultan Suleyman I and Selim II. The construction was finished in 1579. The mosque is part of a larger complex (Külliye) which originally included a madrasa, hammam, caravanserai, fountain and a lower education school. The mosque itself is a single domed structure and the dome has 24 windows. The minaret was damaged during the 1999 İzmit earthquake.

Sakarya Museum

Sakarya Museum (a.k.a. Adapazarı Museum Turkish: Sakarya Müzesi) is a museum in Adapazarı, Turkey.

Its is on Milli Egemenlik Street.

The museum building was constructed in 1915 as a residence by Major Baha Bey, the Chairman of Military Service Office.In 1983, it was purchased by the Ministry of Culture, and on 21 June 1993, it was opened as a museum. The building was partially damaged during the 1999 İzmit earthquake. After restoration, it was reopened on 28 June 2003.

The total area of the house and the yard is 1,290 square metres (13,900 sq ft). In addition to the exhibition halls and offices, the building has a conference room and an art gallery. In the exhibition hall of the museum, both archaeological and ethnographical items are exhibited. Exhibited items from the prehistoric era, and the Roman and Byzantine Empires include axes, terracota pottery, eye drop and scent bottles, and metallic and glass items. The ethnographic items of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey include weapons, copper tools, stamps and embroidery. There are also some belongings of Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later Atatürk) who met his mother in this house in 1922.

Subaşı, Yalova

Subaşı is a belde (town) in Altınova district of Yalova Province, Turkey. Situated at 40°42′N 29°30′E it is close to Hersek Headland of Marmara Sea and has almost merged to Altınova to the east. The distance to Yalova is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) . The population of Subaşı is 5459 as of 2010. The name of the village refers to subaşı, a title in the Ottoman bureaucracy and the residents of the town are mostly Turkish migrants who were expelled from Bulgaria in 1935. The settlement was declared a seat of township in 1992 . But it suffered severely in the 7.6 magnitude 1999 İzmit earthquake.

Yalova Earthquake Monument

The Yalova Earthquake Monument (Turkish: Yalova Deprem Anıtı), aka 17 August 1999 Earthquake Monument (Turkish: 17 Ağustos 1999 Deprem Anıtı), is a monument to commemorate the victims of the 1999 İzmit earthquake in Yalova, Turkey. Situated in the 17 August Memorial Park in Yalova, it was opened at the first anniversary of the earthquake on August 17, 2000.

Yasemin Bradley

Yasemin Bradley (née Özdemir) is a Turkish female physician specialized as nutritionist and dietitian. She is also a television presenter and writer.

Born as Yasemin Özdemir, she graduated from the Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir studying medicine. She worked a long time as a prime-time news presenter at the television channel Kanal D. She moved to England and settled there when she was touched much from the destruction of the 1999 İzmit earthquake. In London, she was trained in media production management at the BBC Turkish. She married to psychotherapist Anthony Bradley, who inspired her in healthy lifestyle. Upon her spouse's advice, she received education in nutrition and dieting at the alternative therapy school ITEC in London.Özdemir Bradley translated two books of the renowned American television and radio host Larry King (1929–2012) into Turkish under the title Kiminle Ne Zaman, Nerede, Ne Zaman, Nasıl Konuşmalı (1996), II. Dünya Savaşı Aşk Öyküleri (2002). She authored with her spouse diet food books Gelecek Yiyeceklerde ("The Future is in Food") in 2002, and Bradley Mutfağı ("Bradley's Cuisine") in 2004. She edited the memoirs of a military officer and published it in 2002 under the title Parola: Harbiyeli Aldanmaz ("Password: Cadet does not get taken in"). In 2009, she published a series of three books on child development titled Cemile Doğru Beslenmeyi Öğreniyor ("Cemile Learns How to Eat Healthily"), Cemile Sağlıklı Yaşamayı Öğreniyor ("Cemile Learns How to Live Healthily"), and Cemile Boyu Uzasın İstiyor ("Cemile Wishes To Grow Tall").In 2012, she started a television program titled Dr. Yasemin Bradley ile Reçetesiz Hayat' ("Life Without Prescription by Dr. Yasemin Bradley") at the channel TRT Haber aired Thursday nights at 21:05 local time.She was honored with the "Best Female TV News Presenter 1996" award by the "Tabloid Journalists Association" (Turkish: Magazin Gazetecileri Derneği).

İskender Pasha Mosque, Fatih

İskender Pasha Mosque (Turkish: İskender Paşa Cami), a.k.a. Terkim Masjid (Turkish: Terkim Mescidi) is a historic mosque located in Fatih district in Istanbul, Turkey.Located on Sarıgüzel Street in İskenderpaşa neighborhood of Fatih, it was endowed in 1505–06 by İskender Pasha, who lived at the time of Mehmed the Conqueror (1432–1481) and served as a vizier of Bayezid II (reigned 1481–1512). A native of Çakallı village of Vize, İskender Pasha died in 1507, so it is assumed that the mosque was built at the end of the 15th century or in the beginning of the 16th century. The mosque takes its other name "Terkim Masjid" from the Janissary barracks situated in the vicinity in the past.The mosque was repaired and restored in the years 1756, 1887, 1945 and 1956. In 1989, a two-story annex of 360 m2 (3,900 sq ft) was added to enlarge the prayer room. The 1999 İzmit earthquake, caused the spire of the minaret fell onto the main dome and caused considerable damage. The mosque underwent major repair and restoration works in 2006.

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