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Türkiye’s mega earthquake that shook the globe



A pair of recent earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.7 in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş and 7.6 in the Elbistan district occurred on the South East Anatolian Fault zone, which starts from Hatay and extends to Bingöl Karlıova and is approximately 600 kilometers (372.8 miles) long.

Earthquake surface tremors are like ocean waves, but they last longer than the disturbances created when you drop a stone into a pool of water. In both instances, the waves move outward. The trembles of Türkiye’s earthquake were felt by seismometers across the world, said Matthew Cappucci a meteorologist for Capital Weather Gang.

Along the East Anatolia Fault line, the Anatolian and Arabian plates slide and chafe against each other. That results in ever-building stress, which is occasionally released in catastrophic slips. Farther to the northeast, the Arabian Plate collides with the Eurasian Plate at the Bitlis-Zagros Fold and Thrust Belt, forming the Zagreb, Alborz and Caucasus mountains. With the East Anatolian Fault, the Arabian Plate is moving north-northwest at about 15 millimeters (0.59 inches) per year, while the Anatolian Plate slides west-southwest at 22 millimeters (0.87 inches) per year. The two plates are moving at about 15 millimeters per year relative to each other, Cappucci maintained.

Associate Professor Dr. Bülent Özmen, from Gazi University Earthquake Engineering Application and Research Center, emphasized that the region has experienced a “seismic gap” for many years because there has been no earthquake for a long time and that the probability of an earthquake was quite high.

“The segment of this fault line called ‘Pazarcık’ experienced a major earthquake in the year 1114 when Marash was an important city with a large Christian population. According to contemporary sources, the city was completely underground, and no one living in the city survived the earthquake, and about 40,000 people living in Marash died,” Özmen explained.

“It’s quite surprising that there was a second earthquake of over a magnitude of 7 in the same region right after nine hours. This is actually the first time in Türkiye and in the region. It is a very rare event that two major earthquakes occurred 9 hours apart,” he added.


Mentioning that scientific studies had been carried out before on the fault line where the earthquake occurred, the professor explained that the seismic gap was shown on many maps. “We had also created earthquake scenarios for the region years ago. Actually, this earthquake was expected in the region, but it was not expected to be this big. A maximum of 7.4 to 7.5 magnitude was expected; however, the second large earthquake was highly unexpected and actually shook the region,” he highlighted.

“The event surprised engineers and geologists studying the issue, as well as the public. Regarding the claims that the two earthquakes will trigger a possible Marmara earthquake, well the Eastern Anatolian fault is not likely to trigger faults that have the potential to produce earthquakes in the Marmara Sea,” he explained.

“While the danger of earthquakes in the Marmara Sea continues, we rarely say ‘Istanbul earthquake.’ This earthquake will occur in the Marmara Sea and will hit the whole Marmara Sea region, including Istanbul.”

Özmen concluded that the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquake was bigger than the 1999 Marmara earthquake.

“When we look at the populations of these provinces, we can say that these earthquakes directly affected 13.5 million people. When you look at it, it is one of the biggest earthquakes in the last 100 years in terms of impact on area and population,” he explained.

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Source: Daily Sabah


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