Civil Engineers Assess 200 Schools For Safety

North Cyprus News - Famagusta Classroom Ceiling Collapse 1
[Ceiling collapses at Namık Kemal High School – Famagusta]
Sunday, 12 March 2023 

The Chamber of Civil Engineers (IMO) has assessed 750 buildings belonging to 200 schools, following the series of earthquakes that shook southern Turkey and Syria leading to a death toll of around 50,000, Yeniduzen reports.

Chairman of the IMO Gurkan Yagciouglu stated that the chamber was concerned that the use of tents to educate children will become widespread because of a lack of building safety in many schools, many of which are old, in poor repair and not able to withstand an earthquake. Currently, students at Namık Kemal High School in Famagusta are being educated in tents after parents said the building was unsafe. The earthquake which occurred on 6 February in Adıyaman claimed the lives of 35 young volleyball players from Famagusta who were among those who died when the Grand Isias Hotel collapsed.

Preparations are being made to transfer education in tents for students at Cumhuriyet High School in Geçitkale and Karakol Primary School in Famagusta. However, following scientific investigation into the safety of school buildings, it is expected that many more schools will follow suit.

Parents of students at Namık Kemal High School in Famagusta decided their children should boycott lessons after the earthquakes in Turkey sparked anxiety about the safety of the school building. They are waiting for a report on how earthquake resistant is the school building and also when necessary repairs are to be made.

The Ministry of Education, by way of a temporary solution, supplied a military tent which was erected in the school garden. Lessons commence there on Monday.

Yağcıoğlu stated that they ranked the school buildings from “the most risky building to the least risky building” and that they would share the results with the Ministry of Education at the beginning of the week. He added that “If the retrofit cost reaches 35-40 percent of the cost of that structure, it makes more sense to demolish the building”. However, that would be a decision to be made by the government, Yağcıoğlu said.


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