25 Jan 2021

Fatal Landslide Database of Turkey was Created at İTÜ

The outcomes of the research study performed by Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences Faculty Member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tolga Görüm and his Ph.D. student Seçkin Fidan to determine the fatal landslide events in Turkey were shared with the public. According to this study, a total of 1343 persons lost their lives in 389 fatal landslide events that occurred in the last 90 years in Turkey.

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

In Turkey many landslide events that cause the death of tens of people occur every year. However, addressing the landslide events in our country from this aspect and recording of the deaths has been neglected until today. Therefore, neglecting the fatal landslides and their results causes an unrealistic understanding of the landslide risk. For this reason, a database of fatal landslide events occurring in Turkey from 1929 to 2019 was created at İTÜ by using national and local printed and digital media sources, Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Archives and AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) reports. The database “Fatal Landslide Database of Turkey” (FATALDOT) was published in the Landslides, which is the leading journal in its area with a high impact factor. (Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-020-01580-7)

“Fatal Landslide Database of Turkey”

Sharing the results of the research study, our faculty member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tolga Görüm revealed that according to this database, which is the first database of landslides in Turkey resulting in death, a total of 389 landslide events were identified that caused the death of 1343 persons.

147 of these landslides that resulted in the death of 883 persons were triggered by natural factors (hydro-meteorological conditions such as precipitation and melting of snow) and 197 fatal landslides that resulted in the death of 301 persons were triggered by anthropogenic factors (construction and infrastructure work). The trigger factor for 45 events resulting in the death of 159 persons could not be determined.

In the period covering 1929-2019, an average of 4 fatal landslide events occurred and 15 persons lost their lives annually.

When the last 20 years are considered, the average number of fatal landslides per year increased to 12.2 and the death rate increased to 23.6.

According to these data, landslides are the second most deadly natural disaster in Turkey following earthquakes.

 The largest landslide risk is in Eastern Black Sea Region

Stating that the region with the highest landslide risk in Turkey is the Eastern Black Sea Region and the place with the lowest risk is the Central Anatolia Region, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tolga Görüm proceeded as follows:

“The fatal landslides in Turkey are concentrated in two regions, Eastern Black Sea Region and vicinity of Istanbul. Generally, the fatal landslides in Eastern Black Sea Region are mostly triggered by natural factors whereas fatal landslides events in Istanbul and its surroundings are mostly triggered by anthropogenic factors. According to the database, fatal landslide events were recorded in 67 of the 81 cities in Turkey. Trabzon (38 events, 336 deaths), Rize (30 events, 191 deaths) and Istanbul (58 events, 85 deaths) are the cities with the highest events and death rates.”

Fatal Landslide Database of Turkey (FATALDOT)

With this database, which is a first in Turkey, it is aimed to create dynamic models for determining the high sensitivity areas of fatal landslide events. Studies for the database continue for estimating the fatal landslide events through supporting with semi- and full automatic landslide event capturing and learning algorithms using Web Scraping algorithms. With this database, which will soon be shared in web-based geographical information systems environment at Istanbul Technical University, it is aimed to develop dynamic models regarding regional landslide hazard and risk.

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