Aftershocks may last for months, expert warns

Aftershocks may last for months, expert warns

Aftershocks may last for months, expert warns

Aftershocks of the two deadly earthquakes that jolted the country’s south could last for months, the head of the Kandilli Observatory has warned.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria, claiming the lives of at least 9,000 people.

“We have experienced the biggest earthquake and destruction since Aug. 17 [1999] as the earthquake broke a 180-kilometer fault,” professor Haluk Özener told daily Milliyet after the meeting held at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, referring to the shake that lasted for about 45 seconds and killed over 17,000 people.

Reiterating the observatory’s warnings on the unbroken points on the east and northeast Anatolian fault lines whereas attention is always drawn to the Marmara region, Özener said at the meeting that the devastating earthquake occurred in an unbroken segment on the east Anatolian fault.

The magnitude, intensity and all parameters of the earthquake will become clear over time, but the moment magnitude of the earthquake, that is, the magnitude determined by combining all the data, is 7.7 though it was calculated as 7.4 in the initial determinations, he added.

Seven aftershocks produced quakes over the magnitude of 5, while the main aftershock caused a 6.6 earthquake, the expert informed, warning that these can last for weeks or even months.

The 2017 earthquake in the Aegean town of Bodrum induced a total of 9,009 aftershocks for a year, he reminded. “Therefore, we want the citizens living in this region to be ready for the aftershocks, not to enter the damaged buildings, and to listen to the authorities, especially the AFAD officials.”

The country has seen many earthquakes along the eastern Anatolian fault line in its history, Özdener pointed out, saying, “The last earthquake also happened in a place where there was no seismic activity for a long time, which we call a seismic void.”

The observatory’s regional earthquake and tsunami monitoring and evaluation center issued tsunami warnings for 14 different countries as it detected a wave height of 17 centimeters on the coast of Turkish Cyprus’ Famagusta, 13 centimeters in the province of Mersin, and 12 centimeters in the province of Hatay’s İskenderun district, he informed.