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Large-scale Disasters

Lessons Learned

image of Large-scale Disasters

The September 11th terrorist attacks, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Hurricane Andrew and the Kobe earthquake are all recent examples of large-scale disasters that have taken a massive toll in human lives, wealth and property. They have disrupted vital systems such as transport and energy supplies and spilled over into neighbouring as well as distant regions. They have also generated widespread anxiety, and in some cases created deep-seated public mistrust of governments' ability to protect their citizens.

This book is based on a report prepared between May and July 2003 by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from inside and outside of the OECD. It examines the economic and social impacts of past large-scale disasters, and draws a number of key lessons for the future. Its focus is on better prevention of disasters, and on restoring trust and securing recovery in their aftermath.

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The 1999 Marmara Earthquakes in Turkey

On 17 August, 1999, an earthquake of magnitude Mw = 7.6 hit the Kocaeli and Sakarya districts of northwestern Turkey. It was soon followed by another big earthquake of magnitude Mw = 7.2 in the close by area centred around Duzce. The disasters affected an extensive area covering the cities of Kocaeli, Sakarya, Düzce, Bolu, Yalova, Eskisehir, Bursa, and Istanbul. The combined population of these eight cities constitutes about 23% of the national population. The heaviest damage was recorded in Kocaeli, Sakarya, Bolu, and Yalova, whose combined population was about 6% of the national figure ....

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