Earthquake Exercise in Istanbul Subway

earthquake application in istanbul metro
earthquake application in istanbul metro

Turkey's largest urban rail system operator IMM, 14 subway lines and the earthquake drill was carried out in 173 stations simultaneously. METRO İSTANBUL General Manager Özgür Soy stated that Istanbul's subways are 9-magnitude earthquake resistant and that they are planning every step they will take in case of emergency.

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), which is Turkey's largest urban rail system operator with more than 2 million passengers per day, is the President of IMM. Ekrem İmamoğluIt continues its preparations for possible disasters in parallel with the “Earthquake Mobilization Plan” initiated by .

In this context, an earthquake drill was carried out under the management of IMM AKOM at 14 lines and 173 stations of the Istanbul Metro. 420 different scenarios were applied in the axis of 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in the exercise, which was carried out with the active participation of 5 employees during night hours. The things to be done during an earthquake and the healthy evacuation of the vehicles and stations afterwards were shown practically.

In the same period, earthquake and tsunami information was reported by AKOM via whatsapp. The crisis desk was called over the satellite phone, and it was requested that the information be confirmed and the information about the damage, operating status, passenger and personnel status be transmitted to AKOM. All work steps in the exercise were shared through the coordination groups. Information was confirmed between control centers and damage and rescue teams by using radio and telephone channels.


Stating that the most important problem of Istanbul is earthquake, METRO İSTANBUL General Manager Özgür Soy stated that they had the opportunity to test the plans they prepared on paper and the training received by the personnel, and that the exercise, which was carried out with the participation of 420 employees and in 5 different scenarios, was the most comprehensive test carried out in the subway so far told. Drawing attention to the fact that the exercise is a mirror showing the deficiencies, development areas and the duties that fall on them, Soy continued his words as follows:

“In this way, we will study our lesson better. Being prepared for an earthquake and taking our precautions is one of our biggest responsibilities towards Istanbulites. There is a widespread prejudice that subways are dangerous because the earthquake occurred underground. But metro lines are safe. Metro lines in Istanbul were designed and built to be resistant to 9 magnitude earthquakes. All earthquake in Izmir, Turkey on October 30, drowns the law, everyone from the institutions to the citizen, it should do its part to raise awareness about earthquakes and onto reminded once more. İzmir Metro AŞ. We are also in contact with. We called them after the earthquake and stated that we will always be with them if they need it. "

Saying that “Every step we will take in an emergency is planned in advance, simulations have been studied and fictionalized within a certain discipline”, Özgür Soy stated that they regularly train personnel with emergency action plans for earthquake, fire, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear disasters.

Reminding that everyone has different duties to overcome the earthquake with the least loss, Özgür Soy said, “In case of a disaster, it is not enough for us to be prepared only. "If our passengers are caught in an earthquake in stations and vehicles, acting in accordance with the directions will enable us to manage the process better."


Since mostly mobile phones and internet lines do not work in the metro, there is a push-to-talk intercom every 200 meters. Direct communication with the control center can be established with the help of devices located at both ends of the platform area. Uninterrupted communication will be provided inside and outside the company with the satellite phones at the command center and the crisis desk.


The possibility of earthquakes triggering disasters such as fire, tsunami and flood is taken into consideration. Station or tunnel fire scenarios will be activated in case of fire. All systems and equipment will work to evacuate passengers from the station. Automatic announcements will be made as soon as the crisis scenario begins. It will be enough for the passengers to follow the announcements and the script.


In the event of an earthquake, no electricity is expected in subways. However, in case of major destructions, if the energy demand falls suddenly across the country, electricity may be cut off throughout the city for system security. METRO ISTANBUL is in the class of businesses that will give priority energy after the control of the systems by AFAD. In case of power cut, systems that provide lighting will operate primarily in the vehicles and in the station. Subsequently, the generators will be activated. All relevant areas will be energized within 3 minutes at the latest.


According to additional instructions from AFAD and AKOM, vehicles can be operated for a limited time for emergencies. If a single vehicle is started and internal needs are disabled, the fuel stock will be sufficient for up to 7 hours.


The subways will play an important role not only as a means of transportation in the city after the earthquake, but also in providing logistical support. Highways must be left empty so that damage assessment and response service groups such as ambulances and fire brigades can reach disaster areas as quickly as possible. For this reason, Istanbul residents should prefer the metro for transportation after the earthquake. In such a situation, subways play an important role in the post-earthquake process. If needed, subways will be used in the logistics of the city's vital needs such as food and medical supplies.


Inside the vehicle;

  • If you are caught earthquake in the subway, take a fetal position next to the seats if possible, if not, hold on to the handles in the vehicle. Protect your head with the help of your bag or arms.
  • Do not leave the vehicle by acting in accordance with the announcements and directions, unless an announcement is made in the opposite direction. Vehicles will go to the nearest station or passengers will be evacuated directly.
  • When unloading vehicles, act according to the instructions of the staff.
  • Operation manager during evacuation; He is a train driver in vehicles.

At the station;

  • If you are on the platform during an earthquake, protect your head from falling objects and kneel next to the nearest column to avoid falling on the rail line. Once the shaking has stopped, follow the directions of the station staff.
  • Operation manager during evacuation; He is the station supervisor at the station.
  • If you see someone in need of medical assistance or notice any potential danger, report this to staff immediately.
  • Escalators and elevators will not stop during an earthquake. If you are on the escalator during the earthquake, hold the hand straps firmly with both hands. If you are in the elevator, hold the handle inside the car and press the buttons of all floors. Get off on the floor where the elevator first stopped. Use the intercom button to ask for help if the elevator is in the middle floor. The elevators will be disabled for a certain period of time after a major earthquake, but they will be activated again afterwards.
  • On the way to the earth after the earthquake, our disabled passengers can use the disabled platform under the supervision of the staff in charge, if there is a disabled platform, the escalators if there is no disabled platform, and finally the elevator if they are working in obligatory situations.
  • Each station has a wheelchair, stretcher, emergency equipment and first aid kit.
  • If you are in common areas such as masjids and toilets in the stations during an earthquake, create a life triangle at the bottom of the wall, protect your head with your bag or arms and follow the announcements of the officers.

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