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FHWA Sends Team of Experts To Help Turkey Recover From Earthquake

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

FHWA Sends Team of Experts To Help Turkey Recover From Earthquake

Federal Highway Administration
October 18, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 1999
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 64-99

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sent a team of seismic experts to Turkey to help that country as it rebuilds after a devastating earthquake in August that killed hundreds of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

"President Clinton has encouraged Americans to help relieve the suffering and restore hope in Turkey, our long time ally," U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater said. "The people of Turkey are our friends, and this team of experts is helping them with the immense task of recovery that lies ahead."

The team the FHWA provided worked side by side with their Turkish counterparts to provide technical assistance and other aid. Team members are Jim Cooper, Hamid Ghasemi, and Philip Yen of the Office of Infrastructure Research and Development; Saad El-Azazy from CALTRANS; and Roy Imbson of Imbson & Associates, a transportation consulting firm.

"We were saddened to hear of the destruction and loss of life caused by the earthquake," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "We hope that we can help the people of Turkey recover from this disaster."

Cooper and other FHWA officials went to Japan in 1995 after the earthquake that devastated the city of Kobe, providing technical assistance and observing the Japanese response to the disaster.

The FHWA has a 40-year relationship with the Turkish Directorate of Highways. The FHWA’s Office of International Programs in May 1999 completed a 15-week training program for 56 Turkish highway officials in the United States, which was funded by the World Bank.

The FHWA employs internationally recognized experts in a variety of fields, including seismic engineering, bridge construction, pavements, safety, traffic operations, and environment.

The Aug. 17 earthquake measured 7.4 on the Richter scale and was centered in the town of Izmit, southeast of Istanbul.

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