Hour by hour, the toll of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday continues to climb, reaching the dizzying figure of more than 21,700 dead this Friday morning, according to the latest official reports. A drama on a scale unprecedented for twenty years in the region, which is explained in particular by the weakness of certain architectures. “On the Mediterranean rim as a whole, there are more fragile construction techniques than what is done in Japan, for example”a country tested by even stronger earthquakes, but where the buildings are more solid, explains on LCI Boris Weliachew, architect and engineer specializing in major risks.
“We build a lot of masonry, with separate elements, which is a fragile method of construction. (…) It’s like piling up sugar canes: you can put something heavy on it, it holds very well, but as soon as you move the table, it crumbles”, he continues. Shaken by the tremors of the earthquake, the first of which reached a magnitude of 7.8, thousands of buildings were reduced to rubble in the two countries.