April 13, 2024

Worst earthquake in Turkey for hundreds of years, says professor

The “sheer magnitude” of the initial 7.8-magnitude quake today is larger than has been seen in Turkey for “hundreds of years”, according to a professor of geophysics who studies seismic activity in the Middle East.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live’s Naga Munchetty, Martin Mai from the King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia says there is currently “no way” to predict earthquakes.

“There was in the scientific community a hope and effort in the 1970s and 80s to say earthquakes can be predicted, all these theories ideas did not hold,” he says, adding countries can’t “predict” or “prevent” earthquakes – only “prepare”.

Mai adds that the second earthquake on a separate fault line today was likely triggered by the first.

“This tectonic plate has been loaded over the last decades, or centuries, and probably it was ready to go and the earthquake this morning pushed it over the edge,” he says.

Fault lines around Turkey and Syria
  1. Fires along gas pipelines apparently triggered by quake

    Videos have emerged showing large fires bursting into the air in southern Turkey, with people claiming the earthquake has caused gas pipelines to burst and burn out of control.

    Turkey’s energy minister Fatih Donmez said this morning that there had been serious damage to the country’s energy infrastructure, including gas pipelines near the epicentre, but he did not specifically mention explosions.

    The BBC has verified one of the videos as being on the outskirts of the city of Hatay, 170km (105 miles) south-west of Gaziantep, where the earthquake struck.

    In the video the tree lines and buildings match satellite images of the Amik valley near Hatay.

Source: cnn.com

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