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Mr. Jean, an engineering professor, said the destruction drove home the importance of listening to scientists. Ten years ago, Mr. Jean was part of that team. Analyzed the possible damage to Antakya from the earthquake and found that many of the buildings assessed were vulnerable to collapse.

Map showing the intensity of the earthquake during the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in southern Turkey. Tremors along the fault were highest in this area and some of the most severe tremors occurred at Antakya.

Source: USGS

The shaking intensity is shown only for the first February 6 earthquake.

by Scott Reinhardt

“Politicians haven’t considered what the science is saying,” Mr Jeans said. “They always wondered how they could get political support. For that reason, he allowed them to build 10-storey buildings in Antakya, or more than 10, in order to enable people to earn a lot of money in a short time, on very poor soil conditions. It could be possible, but you would have to invest heavily in foundation or soil improvement.

After the earthquake, many of the buildings the group considered vulnerable did indeed collapse.

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