“LESSON TO AUTHORITIES”
Ordabayev expressed hope that the catastrophe in Türkiyeand Syria could serve as a cautionary tale.
The scale of the destruction has ignited fury in Türkiye, which has multiple fault lines and a history of major tremors, over poor construction standards.
“I hope that the earthquake in Türkiye will serve as a lesson to our authorities and builders,” Ordabayev said.
According to estimates, more than five million people in Kazakhstan live in a high seismic zone covering over 11 per cent of the country’s territory.
Deputy head of Almaty’s Institute of Seismology, Nursaren Uzbekov, said around 40,000 earthquakes had been recorded in the country over the past five years.
On average, between nine to 15 quakes can be felt each year, he added.
Uzbekov’s institute, founded in 1976, studies vibrations deep inside the Earth and the behaviour of animals such as snakes, birds, rabbits and fish.
A network of seismic stations monitors real-time ground motion in Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries.
Grigory Kochkarov works at one such station perched in the mountains overlooking Almaty.
“If there is an earthquake, we immediately see it on the screen, receive an audible signal and in ten minutes maximum, we transmit the information”, he told AFP.
The station’s seismographs are sensitive to minute vibrations and can detect activity occurring 3,000km away, he said.
He demonstrated long sheets of white paper – some of the seismograms recorded by the observatory date back to the 1930s.
Kochkarov then opened a heavy door leading to a side chamber hewn out of the earth. Inside there was a long-corridor – where “normally, nobody goes” – containing sensitive measuring equipment.
But experts say that the energy-rich country does not have enough seismic stations and the majority of seismographs date back to the Soviet-era.