Doctors in Istanbul have unveiled a new $113,000 web-based medical project to prepare Istanbul for the aftermath of an epidemic or natural disaster. "The project is a web-based system that has been developed to direct specialist doctors to hospitals in disaster areas in the fastest way," project coordinator Ömer Özkan said on Tuesday.Hospitals will be able to determine the number of available doctors right after any disaster. Speaking at a press conference in Istanbul, Özkan said that they aimed to establish "systematic disaster management." "The project will firstly include state hospitals on the Asian side. If it succeeds, then we will put the project into practice on the European side of the city," he added. The Istanbul Development Agency, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Disaster Coordination Center and the Health Ministry have supported the scheme, which will include volunteer doctors who will register on the system with GPS. "The system will be completed in 12 months and will cost TL 312,000 ($113,000)," project officer Ulas Vural said.
Istanbul is located on the North Anatolian fault, one of the largest active faults in the world. Over the last 2,000 years, more than 30 earthquakes with magnitudes larger than seven have occurred in the region. The most recent one, the Izmit earthquake, occurred in 1999 with a magnitude of 7.4 and killed 18,000 people.