Almost 500 earthquakes hit Dardanelles in three days

Almost 500 earthquakes hit Dardanelles in three days

Almost 500 earthquakes hit Dardanelles in three days

AA photo

A total of 497 earthquakes hit Turkey’s Marmara province of Çanakkale between Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has said.

The first wave of the earthquakes was recorded on Feb. 6 at 6:51 a.m. in the province’s Ayvacık district with a 5.3-magnitude. It was followed by another one with the same magnitude at 13.58 p.m. on the same day, according to AFAD. The latest major quake occurred in the Gülpınar village at 5:24 a.m. on Feb. 7 with 5.2-magnitude.

Four aftershocks followed quakes that were above 4.0-magnitudes in two days. 

Around 300 houses in the region were damaged as locals were frightened of returning home. They settled in tent cities set up near the village of Yukarıköy, which was also damaged severely by the quakes. 

AFAD and the Turkish Red Crescent are currently setting up a container city for the victims in the area.

Schools in the district were also canceled on the second day of the quakes.

The Çanakkale Governor’s Office announced on Feb. 7 that eight people were injured in the first quake on Feb. 6, five of whom were discharged from hospital and three of whom were in stable condition.

Professor Haluk Özener, the head of the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, said the quakes were “unsurprising” and noted that earthquakes between the 5 and 5.5 magnitude range were “natural” for the region.

Meanwhile, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.9 hit the Yeşilpınar neighborhood of the Hekimhan district in the Central Anatolian province of Malatya at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 8.

Environment Minister Mehmet Özhaseki warned citizens following the earthquakes in Çanakkale and Malatya, reminding them that Turkey stood on active fault lines.

“Some 42 percent of territory in Turkey is under risk of earthquake. We need to act with keeping this reality in mind. We should build safe buildings on stable bases,” he said.

Özkhaseki also announced that 500,000 buildings will be built in 2018 as part of an urban transformation pilot project.