08:00 AM - 09:00 AM
21 October 2023

Turkiye Earthquake of February 6, 2023 – Post-Event Reconnaissance Summary

State of the Industry / Profession

On February 6, 2023, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck southeastern Turkey, and approximately nine hours later, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 occurred 85 km to the northeast of the first earthquake epicenter. Several significant aftershocks with magnitude of 5.0+ followed both events.  The seismic event resulted in catastrophic damage to the surrounding areas, including over 100,000 collapsed or heavily damaged buildings, many thousands of lives lost, and affecting more than 14 million people.


Following the earthquake, the engineering community sent multiple teams to the affected area to perform post-event reconnaissance surveys.  Representatives from three of these teams come together in this joint session to present a summary of their reconnaissance efforts.  This includes the following teams, speakers, and disciplines.


EERI / EPRI Team for Hospitals and Lifeline Facilities, Onder Akinci, Ph.D., P.E.

EERI sent multiple teams to Turkiye, and Dr. Akinci participated in both the Hospitals and Lifelines teams.  The Lifelines team spent six days in the field reviewing a wide range of facilities, including major power plants, hydro-dams, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminals, water and wastewater treatment plants, university campuses, bridges and tunnels, electric substations, power transmission lines, water mains, and several other industrial facilities.  The Hospitals teams visited more than twenty hospitals in the strong motion region, including base isolated structures.  These teams captured lessons learned on the behavior of critical infrastructure, such as power plants, the electric grid, and hospitals to help utilities around the world prepare for and recover from future events.


ACI 133 Team on Concrete Buildings, Rémy Lequesne, Ph.D., P.E.

ACI Committee 133 led a team of researchers and engineers that surveyed hundreds of buildings in ten cities in south-central Turkey. Most buildings surveyed were multi-story apartment buildings with reinforced concrete frame-wall systems, though the survey also included “tunnel-form” buildings that are comprised mostly of reinforced concrete walls and slabs. The presentation will describe the observed damage, problematic reinforcement details exposed by the shaking, and evidence suggesting that buildings designed for smaller drifts fared better.


ASCE / COPRI Team for Ports and Harbors, Julie A. Galbraith, P.E.

The ASCE / COPRI team visited the Gulf of Iskenderun region from May 8 to 12, 2023 to observe and document performance of marine and near shore structures.  The team visited 16 ports, including public fisheries, marinas, ferry terminals, and private container and bulk terminals.  Within the Port environment, the team also took note of the impact to warehouses, container stacks, cranes, bulk loaders, conveyors, piping systems, bridges, and more. The team examined both structural damages, as well as the earthquakes’ impact to operations. Overall, the team observed structural damage that is consistent with the performance objectives in current Port design standards.  Further, the team also came away with important lessons about emergency response and the role Ports can play in community support and recovery.