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Purdue quake expert returns to Turkish homeland to assess damage
by Jim Schenke
West Lafayette, IN (SPX) Nov 01, 2011

File image courtesy AFP.

A Turkish earthquake expert is headed to the epicenter of the Turkey earthquake to document and decipher why so many buildings failed in and near Ercis.

Purdue University civil engineer Ayhan Irfanoglu for years has studied the vulnerability of Turkish buildings to earthquakes. Irfanoglu is part of an Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) rapid response team.

"My foremost mission is to inspect the building stock and collect data to help develop recommendations to avoid this scale of disaster in areas with similar building stock and construction methods, both in Turkey and elsewhere," Irfanoglu said. "The process may require research effort well beyond what we already know."

Irfanoglu previously was part of two reconnaissance teams in Turkey: after the 1999 Marmara and the 2003 Bingol earthquakes. He has been working with his Purdue colleague Mete Sozen to study the vulnerability of buildings in Turkey.

Sozen, who helped write Turkey's construction codes addressing earthquake preparedness and has proposed a plan to protect highly vulnerable Istanbul, has stated that Turkey's codes are not uniformly enforced.

Irfanoglu's research trip is sponsored by the Purdue University-led George E. Brown Network Jr. for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEEScomm).

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Istanbul (AFP) Oct 29, 2011
The death toll from eastern Turkey's devastating earthquake rose to 596 on Sunday while bulldozers were replacing sniffer dogs as search efforts wound down. More than 4,150 people were injured in the 7.2 magnitude quake that shook the eastern Van province near the Iranian border a week ago, the prime ministry's emergency unit said in a statement on its website. Search and rescue work end ... read more

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