Roundup: At least 10 hospitals in Türkiye's Istanbul evacuated due to weak buildings against quakes

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ISTANBUL, March 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 hospitals in Istanbul, Türkiye's largest city, have been evacuated after authorities announced their buildings were not resistant to earthquakes.

These hospitals will provide services in the buildings of other health facilities in the city or move to safer structures within their campuses.

"We have taken action throughout the country for the structures of health institutions, which are needed many times more in case of a disaster," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters on Wednesday in the southern province of Hatay, devastated by the twin earthquakes at the beginning of February.

Koca noted that the two university hospitals known as the country's most comprehensive health facilities, Capa and Cerrahpasa medical faculty hospitals, are among the evacuated.

According to the minister, the new buildings of these two hospitals will be constructed quickly.

Cerrahpasa had suspended the health and education services in its 17 buildings in the compound at the Fatih district on the city's European side after an earthquake risk examination at the end of February.

The Istanbul municipality has recently launched a program to provide rapid scans of buildings to test their safety in the wake of recent devastating earthquakes that have killed over 46,000 people in the country.

If the teams report the concrete's strength of a building as "weak," it is reinforced, and if reinforcement is not possible, then the building will be demolished.

Speaking about the evacuations, Ali Ihsan Okten, the second head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), urged the authorities to strengthen the buildings providing health services in Istanbul as soon as possible.

Okten noted that the latest earthquake revealed that health units such as hospitals and family health centers were the most damaged buildings. "However, hospital buildings should be the strongest among any other structures," he said.

As an international hub of health tourism, Istanbul is located at the west end of the North Anatolian Fault Line, which has produced many major earthquakes throughout history. Enditem

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