EarthquakeRiskPerceptionof Istanbul Residents Seda Kundak, H. Dulger-Turkoglu, A. Ilki Istanbul TechnicalUniversity
Background of the study 1999 earthquakes (Kocaeli and Duzce) havebeen the milestones in the disaster management and mitigationhistoryofTurkey. Today, the biggest city ofTurkey, Istanbul iswaitingfor a severe earthquakewhichisexpectedtooccur on the NorthernAnatolian Fault. For the last 10 years, severalprojects and disseminationactivitieswerecarriedto reduce vulnerability. This paper aims to underline crucial points of earthquake risk perception of Istanbul residents and to figure out the effectiveness of public awareness campaign in this framework.
Duringthepublicawarenesscampaign in 2008, at the 5 majornodes of Istanbul exhibitionstandswereinstalled. 1316 face-to-faceinterviewwereachieved in 2 days.
Respondents’ profile Women 31%, Men 69% Age: Majority is between 20-30 (40%) Education: Majority is universitygraduated (45%) Work: Majority is working at privatesector (40%)
Casestudy The results of the interviews have been evaluated into four categories: How the earthquake risk is perceived? Earthquake mitigation at households Trust Willingness to participate EQ trainings. In each category, responses have been crossed by gender, age and education level of respondents usingcross-tabulation evaluation to explore differences in responses according to gender, age and education.
How the earthquake risk is perceived? 57% of the respondents expect a major earthquake in the next 10 years. 4% believe that such a big earthquake will not occur. 47% think that crucial information on EQ is hidden from public 53% think that EQ threat is introduced in a realistic way (no exaggeration) Major losses expected are: damages of house/loss of property (68%), loss of own and family members’ life (67%), injuries (62%)
Earthquake mitigation at households Main mitigation activities that respondents have done to reduce their risks: family plan (27%) insurance (26%) emergency kit (22%). 39% of respondents notice they had nothing done to reduce their risk. 36% of this group declares that they don’t have any willingness nor plan to reduce their risks. 49% of respondents indicate that they plan to buy/rent/built a safer house.
Trust 64% and 59% of respondents strongly disagree that neither local administration nor Istanbul Governorship respectively do not take necessary precautions against earthquake. In the case that respondents receive great damages (loss in life, collapse of the house) because of an earthquake, they denote that they would blame government (27%) and constructors (24%). 18% of them declare that this would be their fate. For a safer house, 33% of respondents trust engineers, 22% trust no one and 17% trust government.
Willingness to participate EQ trainings Preference of respondents on participation to free training programs focuses on: first aid (57%) search and rescue (52%) survival under extraordinary conditions (51%). Mitigation trainings to reduce EQ risk are preferred by 46% respondents.
Conclusions Regarding to the results of the questionnaire done with Istanbul citizens, governmental authorities have still difficulties to reach people to give information what they had done and what people have to do. Therefore, any activities, retrofitting of buildings and structures are obvious to remain un-sufficient on the regard of people. The result of the study shows as well how gender, age and education affect risk perception and mitigation activities.
Conclusions Women are crucial target group in dissemination activities and increasing awareness becausethey seem more curious and more volunteer in getting information and trainings on EQrisk reduction. Another crucial target group reveals as low educated people who are more fatalistic than the other groups, but, being as much as willing to participate trainings. This remark can be seen as an opportunity to show people how they are able to decrease their own vulnerability and consequently to decrease their fatalistic way of thinking against natural phenomena.