45 Second Disaster: Earthquake of August 17
The earthquake of 7.6 magnitude, which struck the epicenter of Gölcük on 17 August 1999, caused a massive demolition in the Marmara region in 45 seconds.
Thousands of buildings in Izmit, Adapazarı, Istanbul and including Gölcük were destroyed and submerged. Hundreds of people got trapped under debris. Electrical and telephone lines were damaged due to the earthquake.
According to official information,18,373 people lost their lives in that devastating earthquake. 23,781 people were injured, 505 persons were disabled, 285,211 households, 42,902 workplaces were damaged.
Because of the casualties and loss of property resulted from the collapse of residential buildings, there was a strong public outcry against private contractors. Public opinion condemned officials who had failed to enforce building codes regarding earthquake-resistant designs.
European countries, the United States, Israel, Iran and even Greece pledged to send medical supplies, equipment and other aid. More than 1,500 volunteers from different countries participated in search and rescue mission.
After the August 17 earthquake, earthquake related regulations were made. Compulsory earthquake insurance application was encouraged.