Two earthquakes strike western, central Turkey

Two earthquakes strike western, central Turkey

ANKARA/MANİSA - Anadolu Agency
Two earthquakes strike western, central Turkey

Nearly all the provinces in Turkey’s west have been jolted with tremors, the biggest one having a magnitude of 5.4, according to the country’s disaster management authority.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced that the 5.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Akhisar district of the western Manisa province at 22:22 p.m. local time on Jan. 22.

There are were no casualties, but four people were injured due to panic and some 15 old buildings were slightly damaged, according to Manisa Governor Ahmet Deniz.

The seven-kilometer-deep shallow quake was felt by residents living in a large area including nearly all the western coast of Turkey, extending from Muğla province in the southwest to Istanbul which is located some 560 kilometers north.

More than 210 aftershocks were detected in the following 12 hours, causing fear among locals, who abandoned their homes to spend the night outside. Seven of the aftershocks had magnitudes of over 4.0, according to AFAD.

The electricity was briefly cut-off at the time of the earthquake, residents of Akhisar said.

“We ran outside. The plasters of the walls fell. There are some cracks in the house too. It was quite strong. Thank God, there is no casualty. We stayed outside until the morning,” said a resident of Selçikli neighborhood.

“Our kids slept inside the car. We built a fire and waited till the morning. There has been same crack in some houses,” said Bünyamin Oluk, another resident.

AFAD and the Turkish Red Crescent distributed soup and staple food in two tents to the residents of Selçikli and Musalar neighborhoods, where the temperature fell as low as minus 4 degrees Celsius during the night.

Separate quake jolts Ankara

Another moderate earthquake hit the capital Ankara’s industrial district of Akyurt at 06:54 a.m. local time on Jan. 23.

The district, which is some 30 kilometers away from the city center, and surrounding towns were rattled by a magnitude-4.5 tremor, according to AFAD.

The quake’s epicenter was measured as 13 kilometers below the surface.

Ankara Governor Vasip Şahin said that there were no casualties or material losses.

Turkey is one of the most seismic areas in the world, with Istanbul sitting near a major fault line.

Experts have warned for an immediate need to take precautions against an expected big Marmara earthquake in the aftermath of the 5.7-magnitude earthquake that shook Istanbul on Sept. 26, 2019.

The expected quake is forecast to have a magnitude of a maximum 7.6.

Turkey’s worst seismic disaster in recent history is the Aug. 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake that had a magnitude of 7.4. The epicenter of the quake was near İzmit city, 104 kilometers east of Istanbul.

More than 17,000 people were killed, 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.