Deadly earthquake is one of the most powerful to hit Turkey in the last 100 years
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck southern Turkey early Monday is the strongest the country has experienced in more than 100 years of records, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS said an equally powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck eastern Turkey in 1939 resulted in more than 30,000 deaths.
Karl Lang, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech University’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, told CNN that the area hit by the quake on Monday is prone to seismic activity.
“It’s a seismogenic area. It’s a very large fault zone, but this is a larger earthquake than they’ve experienced at any time in recent memory,” Lang said.
“The magnitude of tremor felt at the surface is both a function of the amount of energy released, the size of the quake, and the distance that energy is released below the surface. So if you’re very close to the surface, if it’s a shallow earthquake, then it can be very dangerous.”
Earthquakes of this magnitude are rare, with fewer than five per year anywhere in the world, on average.
“What’s really unusual here is that it’s a very large earthquake that’s also close to the surface,” Lang said.
Some context: Turkey is no stranger to strong earthquakes. Seven earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater have struck the country in the past 25 years, but Monday’s is the most powerful. It is also the strongest earthquake to have occurred anywhere in the world since a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck a remote region near the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean in 2021, causing no damage.
Source: CNN Espanol