Use the reading to help answer the question.

The Turkish Earthquake, happened on 17th August, 1999 at 3 am, had a magnitude of 7.4 and the epicenter close to the industrial center of Izmit. Whether the earthquake was a hazard event or a disaster depends on how much help Turkey needed.

The earthquake was surely a hazard event because it caused economic, environmental and social disorders in Turkey. The oil refinery, stocking 70000 tons of oil was on fire and all the resources were burned out. Not only resources but also the refinery poured out large quantities of pollution into the air, the water and the land. A chlorine plant in Yalova had chemical leakage into the environment as well. Food supplies as well as buildings were destroyed in most of towns around the quake center, causing socio-economic disruptions. An estimation of 65000 buildings in Yalova were destroyed and people are all staying in the streets. Only 60 percent of adults and 95 percent of children survived in the earthquake, causing population demographic change.

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Above shows that the earthquake is a hazardous event, but the outside help Turkey seek made it into a “disaster”. Countries all over the world provided help to Turkey. US Red Cross donated $138508 and the Lincy Foundation made 1 million donations to support the Red Cross. US also donated biscuits and kits for aid. Denmark sent 16 rescue workers and 9 trained dogs and Greece sent 25 disaster experts. German Red Cross set up a field hospital and arranged beds for the injured. UK provided 60 tons of aid which worth 500000 pounds. Netherland sent 30000 prefabricated homes. Apart from these basic helps, UK also specifically helped the oil refinery fire by carrying booms, absorbent material and other equipments for clearing up the oil. National Center for PTSD in America helped with counseling survivors while UNICEF also sent psychologists to offer counseling to children.

Without these helps from the outside Turkey could not have survived the aftermath of the earthquake, either long term effects or short term effects. Therefore the Izmit earthquake is rather a disaster than only a hazardous event.

Short Term

Long term

Social-Food Supplies Destroyed, mental stress disorders, 65000 buildings destroyed, farm lands destroyed


Environmental-Oil Refinery Fire, controlled

Outside help-7 countries Aid, high dependence, NGO

Disaster or Hazardous event?

The Earthquake happened in the middle of the night, which increased the vulnerability. People weren’t prepared for it and many are just crushed in their beds under several tons of concrete. 17000 people have lost their lives. 55 billion dollars are used up in the clone areas.

The rescue wasn’t’ very successful. Rescuers from Europe need a long time to arrive Turkey and by the time they arrive most people have passed away.


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