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Risk Management Practices at Industrial Facilities during the Turkey Earthquake of August 17, 1999: Case Study Report

Laura J. Steinberg, Ana Maria Cruz, Fazilet Vardar Sükan,Yasin Ersöz

IIASA-DPRI Meeting on Integrated Disaster Risk Management: Reducing Socio-economic Vulnerability


The Turkey earthquake of August 17, 1999 offered a unique opportunity to study risk management practices and emergency response to accidental releases of hazardous materials triggered by seismic movement. While there has been some attention devoted to releases from pipeline breaks during earthquakes, until recently there has been little consideration of earthquake-related hazardous materials releases at industrial facilities. This paper results from a study of hazardous material releases in 18 industrial facilities in the industrial region of Kocaeli, Turkey, one of the hardest hit areas. Through a series of interviews to plant managers and engineers, and visits to the plant sites, as well as interviews of government officials, the authors document the performance of risk management practices, such as mitigation measures, and emergency response to hazardous material releases during the earthquake.

The study results indicate that hazardous material releases are a real threat to life and property inside industrial facilities as well as to nearby residential areas. Some of the more significant examples of hazardous materials releases triggered by the earthquake include: the air release of 200 metric tons of hazardous anhydrous ammonia to avoid tank over-pressurization due to loss of refrigeration capabilities; the leakage of 6500 metric tons of toxic acrylonitrile (ACN) into air, soil and water from ruptured tanks; the spill of 50 metric tons of diesel fuel into Izmit Bay from a broken fuel loading arm; the release of 1200 metric tons of cryogenic liquid oxygen caused by structural failure of concrete support columns in two oxygen storage tanks; and the enormous fires, liquid petroleum gas leakages, and oil spills at the Tupras oil refinery.

The study identified several strategies to make highly populated, industrialized cities safer and more resilient to earthquake threats. These include seismic-resistant construction codes for buildings and other structures, specifically those pertaining to industrial facilities such as open structures, containment vessels, storage tanks, piping, connections, and pipe racks; enforcement of regulations pertaining to seismic-resistant construction codes and other environmental and public safety laws; risk management practices and mitigation measures in industry which account for the possibility of seismic hazards; emergency management programs in industry and government that take into account the simultaneous effects of the earthquake and possible hazardous materials releases; land use planning as a mitigation strategy to reduce the impact of joint earthquake and hazardous materials releases on urban communities; and the appropriate government structure, organization, and political context in which to effectively manage joint natural and technological emergencies.

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İlgili Kayıtlar

Endüstriyel Kazalar

NoTarihTesis AdıİlİlçeTür
1.1999/08/17Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.Ş. (TÜPRAŞ) İzmit RafinerisiKocaeliDerince
2.1999/08/17Akrilik Kimya San. A.Ş. (AKSA)YalovaÇiftlikköy
3.1999/08/17HABAŞ Sınai ve Tıbbi Gazlar Endüstrisi A.Ş. Köseköy Hava Ayrıştırma TesisiKocaeliKartepe

Konu Başlıkları

1.Doğal Afetler » Önemli Doğal Afetler » Kocaeli Depremi (1999)


1.Laura J. Steinberg vd.Hazardous Materials Releases during the August 17, 1999 Earthquake in Turkey2001


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