Event: Experts share insights from Türkiye earthquake and implications for Canada’s disaster preparedness

On Oct. 13, ahead of ShakeOut BC, media are invited to join engineering researchers and other technical and industry experts as they share lessons learned from their visit to Türkiye, which suffered a major earthquake earlier this year.

The experts, which include specialists from UBC, Engineers and Geoscientists BC and other research partners, visited Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş and other affected regions to draw lessons and parallels to earthquake risk and disaster management practices at home in B.C.

Earthquakes are a reality for B.C., notes Dr. Tony Yang, event organizer and UBC professor of civil engineering.

“Up to 3,000 quakes are reported every year, and we face the potential threat of a megathrust quake that’s often called the ‘Big One’ which could occur offshore along the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. Our journey to Türkiye gave us a deeper understanding of these events and we look forward to sharing our experiences to bolster earthquake preparedness in Canada and worldwide.”

The media briefing will be held online, preceding a technical seminar on the same topic that will be held later that afternoon.

Date/time: Friday, Oct. 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Online via Zoom (LINK)

Please RSVP to media.relations@ubc.ca


  • 10:30 – 10:35 a.m. –  Introductions
  • 10:35 – 11:00 a.m. – Presentation by Dr. Tony Yang: “Unveiling Discoveries and Preparedness Strategies: Lessons Learned from the M7.8 Türkiye Earthquake of February 2023”
  • 11:00 – 11:15  a.m. –  Open Q&A with expert panel
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. –  Individual media opportunities available – please arrange interviews by contacting lou.bosshart@ubc.ca

Media assets: Dropbox (images, b-roll, fact sheet)

Panel experts and topics:

Dr. Tony Yang
Professor, UBC Department of Civil Engineering

  • Overview of Turkiye earthquake, including overall damage to schools, health care facilities and other infrastructure; financial losses and casualties
  • Evolution of Turkiye building code and comparisons with Canadian building code

Dr. Svetlana Brzev
Adjunct Professor, UBC Department of Civil Engineering

  • Performance of mid to high-rise residential buildings exposed to earthquake
  • Lessons for Canadian design and construction practice

Dr. Keshab Sharma
Geotechnical Engineer-in-Training, BGC Engineering Inc.

  • Geotechnical aspects of the Türkiye earthquake and liquefaction-induced building failure
  • Liquefaction potential in western Canada

Dr. Bishnu Pandey
Faculty, Department of Civil Engineering, BCIT

  • Damage to education sector and performance of school buildings
  • Lessons learned from Türkiye regarding safety of schools in B.C.

Ms. Allison Chen
Practice Advisor, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

  • Lessons learned from the performance of school buildings in Türkiye, drawing parallels with the B.C. Ministry of Education’s Seismic Mitigation Program and the Seismic Retrofit Guidelines
  • Ongoing mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts in B.C.

Dr. Jeffrey Salmon
Engineer – Structural, Ausenco Engineering Canada Ltd

  • Seismic performance of hospitals and healthcare facilities during the Türkiye earthquake
  • Ongoing mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts in B.C.

Dr. Alemdar Bayraktar
Professor in Structural and Earthquake Engineering
Visiting Professor, UBC Department of Civil Engineering

  • Türkiye’s active faults and historical seismicity

Dr. Şerife Özata
Research Assistant, Ahi Evran Technical University

  • Lessons learned from the response and recovery process in Türkiye related to post-disaster building damage assessments