Bursa, A City Devastated ByEarthquakes

Bursa is a city located within a region of first gradeearthquake risk, and it has occasionally suffered devastatingand massive earthquakes. We understandthat the devastating earthquakes of Bursa and itssurroundings occur with 100-150 years intervals.The oldest earthquake recorded in our region occurredin year 32. Poet Phegon had written that theentire city was devastated in this earthquake. Accordingto Plinius, as a result of this earthquake,‹mral› island (called as Besbikos) was seperatedfrom the mainland and became an island.Thereafter, Bursa region suffered a much biggerearthquake. Following the little earthquake in 150,the region witnessed earthquakes again in 362 and368 with short intervals. The earthquake occurredon 11th October, 368, has immersed the Palace ofSenatus in which the first christian consuls had convened,under water. Karamürsel, located 28 km distanceto ‹znik, was completely devastated. And inthe earthquake of 740, massive damage was sufferedthroughout the entire Bursa region.The city walls were collapsed as well as other structuresof ‹znik as a result of the principal earthquakeand its aftershocks, taken place on september of year1065. During this earthquake, cities of Pthopolis,located in Sölöz on the shores of ‹znik Lake andBassilinopolis were inundated. Thereafter, Bursaregion was trembled with serious earthquakes againin 1417, 1509, 1674. From the chronicles of atraveller named Carsten Niebuhr, we learn that anearthquake had taken place in Bursa in 1767.The last devastating earthquake had occurred in1855. Since this earthquake of 7.5 magnitude wascited very dramatically, it was referred to as “thelittle doomsday” in the references. According to atraveller named Perrot; “The greatest impact onBursa had occurred in 1855. Two massive earthquakessubsequently occuring with two monthsinterval, had devastated the city. Bursa was almostvanished from the maps.” And according to AvedisBerkeryan many buildings such as mosques, tombs,markets, and hotels were devastated in the 1855earthquake.The fire caused by the earthquake, burned down thewooden houses and approximately 3000 homes.More than 2000 people were passed away under theremnants.Finally, the earthquake on 17 August 1999 in ‹zmit,affected the Bursa region as well. Some little damageshad been suffered.Today, Bursa continues its journey towards becominga “healthy city”, by taking lessons from thepast and being ready for a new “rupture of faults”.