February 6, around 4:17 am local time, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit the south
With the death toll now in excess of 7,000 people, one wonders whether the destruction of 6,000 buildings and, more importantly, the loss of life, could have been predicted.
Earthquake in Turkey: why so many people died and where will the next push
The question was answered by Zoe Mildon, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Plymouth, UK, whose research focuses on earthquake dynamics.
Turkey is known as a seismically active country.However, the most recent earthquakes (those that were no later than the last century) occurred along the North Anatolian fault, which runs from east to west through the north of the country. The last earthquake of this magnitude occurred in 1999, near the city of Izmit. Its power was 7.6 points and 17,000 people died.
Faults in Turkey. Photo: Mikenorton/Wikimedia Commons
However, the area hit by Monday's quake has not experienced such a large earthquake - at least not one in the entire life of the current local population.
“Earthquakes of this magnitude cannot bepredict, at least to the extent of knowing when and where it will happen, ”explains the scientist. She added that aftershocks (subsequent earthquakes) always occur after large magnitude earthquakes. Therefore, more small shocks are expected in the area in the coming days or weeks.
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On the cover: IHH Humanitarian Aid Fund, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons