Aftershocks a warning for next quake in Malatya: Expert

Aftershocks a warning for next quake in Malatya: Expert

Aftershocks a warning for next quake in Malatya: Expert

Four aftershocks with a magnitude of more than 4 occurred in Malatya in four days, with a quake expert warning that the tremors are an important indicator that the fault is still active.

After two 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes jolted southern Türkiye, over 300 aftershocks were experienced in the region, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced.

On Feb. 12, an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.9 occurred in the Hekimhan district. The depth of the tremor was reported to be 7 kilometers.

A day later, two more earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 centered in Hekimhan and a magnitude of 4.2 in the Pütürge district occurred.

Early on Feb. 15, the Darende district experienced a 4.6 magnitude earthquake, AFAD announced. The tremor struck 12.4 kilometers below the surface.

The aftershocks near the Malatya fault have caused concerns.

“The recent aftershocks are not tremors on the fault. However, they are a very important indicator that the fault is still active,” said Taylan Sançar, an associate professor from Munzur University’s Geological Engineering Department.

Stressing that they found out that the last earthquake on this fault was around 2,600-2,700 years ago, Sarçan referred to the research conducted by Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), revealing that the Malatya fault has the potential to produce earthquakes in the near future.

“We tried to find earthquake recurrence intervals by going to older ones in order to understand when the fault last produced a quake,” he elaborated.

“The magnitude of the next earthquake will be greater than 7,” Sarçan said. “We expect an earthquake with a magnitude of around 7.4-7.5 when we take into account the length of the fault, while the depth of the fault and the fractured surface will be crucial.”

The expert also warned the authorities to accelerate necessary steps to make the province more resistant to the expected quake.

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