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Overview of the critical disaster management challenges faced during Van 2011 earthquakes

Mert Tolon, PhD, Ufuk Yazgan, PhD, Derin N. Ural, PhD, Kay C. Goss, PhD, CEM


On October 23, 2011, a M7.2 earthquake caused damage in a widespread area in the Van province located in eastern Turkey. This strong earthquake was followed by a M5.7 earthquake on November 9, 2011. This sequence of damaging earthquakes led to 644 fatalities. The management during and after these earthquake disaster imposed many critical challenges. In this article, an overview of these challenges is presented based on the observations by the authors in the aftermath of this disaster. This article presents the characteristics of 2011 Van earthquakes. Afterward, the key information related to the four main phases (ie, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery) of the disaster in Van is presented. The potential strategies that can be taken to improve the disaster management practice are identified, and a set of recommendations are proposed to improve the existing situation.


Van earthquake, emergency management, preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery

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