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Spatiotemporal variations of fatal landslides in Turkey

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Landslides are one of the devastating geohazards that cause extensive socio-economic and environmental damages on local, regional, and global scales. Previous studies based on digital media sources have attracted attention to the high fatal landslide rate in Turkey, at a continental or global scale; however, the preparation of a comprehensive and long-term database for Turkey has been neglected until today. To examine this data gap, we present a new database of fatal landslide events resulting in fatalities from 1929 to 2019, which has been compiled using Turkish national and local printed and digital media reports, academic papers, disaster, and city annual reports. The fatal database of Turkey (FATALDOT) shows that, in total, 1343 people were killed in 389 fatal landslide events. The spatiotemporal distribution of the fatal landslides highlighted increasing trends with reference to two distinct hotspot zones throughout the Eastern Black Sea and Marmara Region, mostly around Istanbul megacity. Our results show that there has been a significant uniformity between the number of fatalities and fatal landslides triggered by anthropogenic and natural factors over the past decade, indicating an increasing dominance of human activities in fatality rates. Our findings also, for the first time, remarked the potential signatures of the economic crisis and political steadiness on fatal landslide trends. Nevertheless, we conclude that the increasing rate of anthropogenic disturbances in urban and mountainous areas, together with regional variances in topography and climatic setting, is essential in governing the pattern of fatal landslides.

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The authors thank Oktay Gökce from the Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency for providing some incident reports and fruitful discussions and Dr. Attila Ciner for proof-reading the final version of the mansuscript. This study was supported by the Turkish Academy of Sciences within the framework of the Distinguished Young Scientist Award Program (TÜBA-GEBIP-2016). Fatal Landslide Database of Turkey (FATALDOT) data is available as a supplementary file for this paper.

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Correspondence to Tolga Görüm.

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Görüm, T., Fidan, S. Spatiotemporal variations of fatal landslides in Turkey. Landslides 18, 1691–1705 (2021).

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