Predicted casualties in a 7.5 magnitude night-time earthquake, from Mustafa Erdik's Earthquake Vulnerability of Buildings and a Mitigation Strategy
With this rather grim map we are launching Afternoon Map's new store, set up to raise money for earthquake preparedness in Istanbul. Istanbul, where our blog was started, is a city uniquely vulnerable to earthquakes. This - combined with my own particularly intense fear of being trapped in rubble and the fundamental role of plate tectonics in configuring the continents that grace our maps - made me want to use the blog to help. Earthquakes, like many other disasters, kill along class lines. People in poorly built houses die while people in well built houses live. Particularly troubling, I think, is that almost all the research about how to keep safe in an earthquake has been done for people living in the kinds of places - California, Japan - where they can reasonably expect that their houses won't collapse. For a long time now people in Turkey have been told about the "triangle of life," a survival strategy that involves sheltering next to large, incompressible objects like beds and was developed by one of the first responders to the Kocaeli quake. When this recommendation started making the rounds a number of prominent earthquake experts reacted angrily, warning people that it was a completely unreliable and untested strategy. The problem, though, as some experts acknowledged, was that no one really has any better advice for what to do when you live in an unreliable building, where even the standard recommendation - always stay indoors - might not hold true. When earthquakes hit, people around the world show their generosity by donating money to help the survivors. By buying a map now, you can do something to save lives in advance. Also you get a map. In addition to buying prints or note-cards of some original designs, you can buy a high quality poster of many of the maps that have appeared on this blog for a very reasonable price. Most of you probably already made yourselves an Intikam 1914 coffee mug at cafe press, but why stop there.
Visit Afternoon Map's Etsy Map Store
Finally, while we wanted to to get this store up and running before Christmas, we still haven't been able to figure out the best recipient for our donations. Any readers who have thoughts or recommendations on the subject are encouraged to contact us, and we will endeavor to choose the group or groups doing the most effective work.