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Faraz Butte

Hazard Assessment: Zeytinburnu, Istanbul, Turkey

Zeytinburnu is a working class district in the suburbs of Istanbul, located just

west of the ancient city walls. It is 4.66 square miles and has a population of 292,
407, giving it a population density of 63,000 per square mile. The district suffered
greatly during the 1999 earthquake, and despite a pilot regeneration project,
remains highly at risk for devastation from an earthquake.
Overcrowding: The high density of the area, one of the highest in the city, combined
with building collapse risk, would cause a high number of casualties and injuries
during a strong earthquake, with a predicted 87,000 people dying and 135,000
injured. There is very little open green space, providing limited gathering points for
people outside of buildings.
Road Obstruction/limited access: Given the high density and shoddy construction of
homes in this district, which once was an informal settlement outside the
metropolitan area with no formal planning. There is one highway that passes
through, and the vast majority of roads are tertiary with 5 to six story buildings on
both sides. Any collapse would quickly block road access.
Building Collapse: Despite reformed building codes, poor construction remains. A
predicted 20% of the buildings in Zeytinburnu would be seriously damaged
Pipeline leak /rupture: It is predicted that 52 kilometers of natural gas pipelines and
66 kilometers of water pipelines would be damaged in an earthquake, creating a fire
risk and lack of water to extinguish it or drink.
Tsunami: Zeytinburnu has a coast along the Sea of Marmara, which suffered from a
2.5 meter high tsunami during the 1999 earthquake. This will be much higher if an
earthquake strikes further west on the fault line, which runs 7 kilometers south of
the city. There are numerous hotels and apartment buildings along the coast, as
well as a major coastal road, which is one of the few major roads in the district, and
the entrance to the Eurasia Tunnel, which runs under the Sea of Marmara to the
Asian side of the city.
Pollution: Though the leather industry has largely departed from Zeytinburnu, it has
seen industrial growth during the past 30 years in the textile and metal industry.
Additionally, there is a high traffic volume on the narrow streets, often leading to
gridlock. Surrounding districts share similar characteristics, and all have a lack of
green space. Subsequently, there is poor air quality in the district.
Disaster Masterplan for Earthquake Risk Reduction and Mitigation In Istanbul

Earthquake as a Fact of Istanbul: Risk-based Strategy and an Action Plan for the
Vulnerable Zeytinburnu Area

Earthquake Masterplan for Istanbul


Location of the Zeytinburnu district within Istanbul.

Predicted earthquake intensity map.

Zeytinburnu building risk, with focus on Sumer neighborhood.