Marmara Sea earthquake reconnaissance report

Report of the NZSEE reconnaissance team on the 17 August 1999 Marmara Sea, Turkey earthquake

  • R.D. Sharpe Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand
  • D. Bradshaw Sinclair Knight Merz Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand
  • N. Brown Dunedin City Council, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • R. Van Dissen GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • D. Kirkcaldie Opus International Consultants Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand
  • K. J. McManus University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • T. Pham AC Consulting Group Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand
  • C. Stevenson Connell Wagner Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand


On 17 August 1999 a Mw 7.4 earthquake struck western Turkey killing at least 15,000 people and leaving some 600,000 homeless. Three weeks later a New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering reconnaissance team was sent to the area to investigate the causes of the destruction and the reported confusion and delay in the emergency response and to bring back information that will help to better prepare for similar earthquakes in New Zealand. Few new lessons were to be learned in structural behaviour, the numerous collapsed apartment buildings were not adequately designed or constructed for the intensity of shaking they were subjected to. The enormous scale of the disaster and extent of damage far exceeded media reports and simply overwhelmed the emergency response preparations that were in place. New Zealand is ill prepared for a disaster of such magnitude.


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How to Cite
Sharpe , R., Bradshaw, D., Brown, N., Van Dissen, R., Kirkcaldie, D., McManus, K. J., Pham, T., & Stevenson , C. (2000). Marmara Sea earthquake reconnaissance report . Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 33(2), 65-104.

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