Mr Genes, the engineering professor, said the destruction made it important to listen to scientists. Ten years ago, Mr. Genes part of a team that analyzed the potential damage to Antakya from an earthquake and found that many of the buildings it assessed were vulnerable to collapse.

A map showing where the shaking was most intense during the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey. The tremors were strongest along the fault in the region and some of the most severe tremors occurred in Antakya.

Source: USGS

The shaking intensity is shown only for the first earthquake on February 6.

By Scott Reinhard

“The politicians didn’t consider what the science was saying,” Mr. Genesis. “They always thought about how they could get political support. For that reason, on very bad land conditions, just so that people could make huge money in a short time, they allowed them to build 10-story buildings in Antakya, or more than 10. It could be possible, but you have to make huge investments in the foundation or ground improvement.”

After the earthquake, many of the buildings the group deemed vulnerable actually collapsed.