Five-storey building tilts to one side in İstanbul, residents evacuated

A residential building in İstanbul’s Gaziosmanpaşa district suddenly tilted to one side early this morning.

The five-storey building tilted to one side with a loud noise at 3:00 a.m. when residents were sleeping inside. No one was hurt and all residents were evacuated.

A car parked outside fell into a shallow hole caused by the tilt of the building.

Police and firefighter teams were dispatched to the area. Police closed the street where the building is located to traffic while residents in the nearby buildings were also evacuated as a safety measure. Residents had to spend the rest of the night on the street.

It was not immediately clear what caused the building to tilt. One of the residents said she had seen cracks in the building and notified the authorities, who she said had ignored her. “I showed the cracks to officials. I said there are cracks here but they said ‘no’,” said the resident, Türkan Karakaya, to the private Doğan news agency.

Though in an earthquake zone, İstanbul is rife with poorly constructed buildings, especially in densely populated, low-income districts such as Gaziosmanpaşa.

Experts predict that a major earthquake could hit İstanbul within the next decades, devastating the city of 15 million and causing thousands of deaths.