Prepare Before It's Too Late: Learn To Live With Earthquake
As being just inside the active seismic belt Marmara Region situated west side of the North Anatolian Fault Line. Kocaeli is the epicenter for the August 17 Marmara Earthquake which affected all the region and cost approximately 18,000 deaths according to the official figures. Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality start pilot project to take actively part in this social issue. The project directly affects three institutions (project partners) and more than 1.5 million people lives in the region.
Goals of the Initiative
The main aim of the project is: with the help of seismological monitoring and earthquake education center, monitoring, evaluating, analyzing, solving and archiving the characteristics of the earthquakes via data gathered from 23 different “ground motion stations” to facilitate Local Earthquake Database, earthquake risk maps, emergency response plan, earthquake resistant construction plan and efficient seismological monitoring system. Also, alongside the monitoring educating the citizens through various activities such as ”earthquake simulator”, “theatre”, “seminars” and lectures too boost awareness among the society.
The main innovation in the initiative is for the first time in Türkiye under the leadership of a Local Government, Central Administration (Emergency Management Presidency) and NGO (Chamber of Industry) new managerial cooperation has initiated. Also; institutions such as NGO’s, Universities, Research Centers (TUBİTAK), Private Sector Representatives, City Council and The National Education Directorate of the City has took part in the project as associate partners.
Parties and Partners to the Initiative and Resources Used for Implementation
Kocaeli Seismological Monitoring and Earthquake Education Centre project is running with the partnership of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality (KBB), Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Kocaeli Chamber of Industry (KOSANO). The center and stations has financed by these three organizations. The Chamber of Industry undertook the coordination among the private industrial sectors; Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency provide technical help during the start-up phase and Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality by attaining 6 technical staff, allocating building and central database network provides sustainability for the project.
The resources used for implementing the initiative include:
Project has implemented with the co-financial contributions of the organizations whose names referred above. Also, University of the Bosporus provides technical education for the technical staff, Turkish Scientific And Technical Researches Institution provides technical expertise to run the center, City Council’s disable and youth assemblies take part to enhance civic engagement and according to the agreement signed between Kocaeli National Education Directorate and the Metropolitan Municipality two the institutions account for the dissemination phase of the project among the pupils.
Innovation for the Initiative
The project has two undividable part monitoring and educating. Within the education part; earthquake educations has been done in primary schools, and a theatre whose name is “Moving World” performs all around the city and has managed to reach approximately 20,000 students also; thanks to the special program for the disable children, with these program hundreds of disabled children and their parents has benefited from these courses. As the last chain of the education program applied training program has been run by using the earthquake simulator (three dimensional quake tray) to simulate earthquake environment.
Also, data which are collected from 23 stations feeds the national earthquake database and help to facilitate local network. This is the first network run by a local authority in Turkey.
In this context, educational part of the project can be considered as evolutionary since it based on former experience and lessons. Also; in the scope of the local authorities having seismological center can be considered as revolutionary impact since there aren’t any similar example and as serving as a model for the other cities.
This center was initiated with the cooperation of three leading institutions (local government, public body and NGO) and can be evaluated under the “Partnership and Civic Engagement” subject.
Also, Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency is responsible to monitor seismological movement in Türkiye. This model used to contain just scientific considerations and the educational and dissemination part used to stay in background. After starting the initiative with theatre, training (theoretical and practical) educational and dissemination part starts being on the top of the agenda. By using the advantage of being closer to the society the metropolitan municipality and the citizens have benefited from this model. In this sense, this model has innovative in terms of the methodology (governance and administration) applied.
Local Earthquake Database has generated by modeling the National Database and the simulator has developed by modeling the simulator of Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency. Another third dimension added to have more realistic quake effect. A lot of meeting and technical study visit hold to Turkish Scientific and Technical Researches Institution and the University of Bosporus provide education program for the technical staff.
Although the center has officially run less than one year, a lot of representatives from local governments, universities and from foreign countries, and sister cities of the metropolitan municipality in particular has visited the center and shared technical information. Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality also uses its official press (newsletters, social and visual media) to disseminate the initiative.
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