GEOFFREY KING: The earthquake that we expect would happen close to Istanbul will be as big, or bigger, than Izmit. Izmit killed 20,000 or even 30,000 people. The population density around Iz, Istanbul is ten times greater. The scale of the catastrophe to a European city is almost unimaginable.
NARRATOR: What makes this forecast so worrying is that many buildings have not been built to withstand a disaster of this kind.
CELAL SENGOR: We are now in one of the poorest parts of Istanbul. You can imagine that the buildings around us are not of the best quality. When the earthquake hits parts of these buildings will fall down, people will be trapped in them. Some of the people will be able to get out. Some of these streets have natural gas pipelines going under them. They will burst, right. You'll have fires rising. People will try to run away, they'll be ruined, they will try to clamber up, up. Rescue units will try to reach them. It will be complete mayhem in Istanbul if that happened.
NARRATOR: No one can yet tell when the earthquake storm will strike. The forecast simply cannot do this. It could be in 100 years time, it could be tomorrow. The scientists have at least identified where it is likely to hit next. This means there is still time to prepare.
GEOFFREY KING: The stress has been building up in Istanbul. We know there's going to be an earthquake. We don't really know when there's going to be an earthquake, but we know it'll be a major earthquake. Buildings can be improved, construction can be modified, emergency services can become better organised. There are very many things that can be done and this will bring the death toll down by ten times, or even 100 times and it is completely possible and it is economically feasible.
NARRATOR: So the forecast comes with hope. There is a chance this time that the people of Turkey can be prepared where the disaster strikes.