4.5-magnitude earthquake strikes Marmara region
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted the Marmara region in the morning yesterday, causing fear and panic in the region and the Istanbul province. There were no reports of casualties.
The epicenter of the temblor was the Çınarcık district of the northwestern province of Yalova, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 7 kilometers, was felt across Istanbul and the province of Bursa by residents.
“The earthquake occurred at 9:34 a.m. [local time]. There were no casualties reported,” Yalova Governor Muammer Erol said in a statement.
The earthquake has caused fear in a region sitting on a major fault line, with experts warning a disastrous quake is expected.
According to a leading geophysics expert, Ahmet Ercan, the earthquake could trigger a much larger one.
Speaking to Posta newspaper, Ercan recalled an earthquake that occurred last month in the same area. “Within a month we witnessed two earthquakes, one with a magnitude of 4.3 and another 4.5. The energy accumulated there can trigger a bigger earthquake.”
He believes the imminent earthquake could have a magnitude of 6.5, which may shake Istanbul drastically as well.
In 1999, the Marmara region was hit by the worst seismic disaster in Turkey’s recent history.
The 1999 quake had a magnitude of 7.5 and hit the Marmara region, the most industrial and densely populated region of the country, killing 17,480 people.
Over 285,000 buildings were damaged and 600,000 people were left homeless after the 45-second quake, which left social and economic wounds that took years to heal.