Earthquakes in Turkey: how often, how dangerous

Earthquakes in Turkey: how often, how dangerous

Sergei Starostin On February 6, 2023, a national catastrophe occurred: several earthquakes with a magnitude of about 7.7 were recorded in the southeastern part of Turkey and in northern Syria. Many dozens of destroyed buildings, more than 9,000 dead and many injured – such is the sad statistics of this event. Scientists warn that aftershocks – probably weaker ones – could continue for several more weeks, not only in Turkey and Syria, but also in neighboring countries also affected that day. “Subtleties” found out how often tremors are felt in Turkey and what threat they pose to residents.

How often do earthquakes happen in Turkey

The territory occupied by modern Turkey has long been considered a zone of increased seismic hazard. It is in these places that several large and small tectonic plates converge at once: Anatolian, Arabian, African, Eurasian. The junctions of these plates are places where earthquakes occur regularly and are sometimes particularly violent. In Turkey, ground tremors are recorded several times a year, but large-scale earthquakes like the one that occurred in 2023 are less common. In the 20th century, the strongest shocks were in Erzincan in 1939: 7.9 points, and more than 30 thousand victims. The earthquake in 2020 in the Aegean Sea reached 7 points, then 116 people died in Turkey.

In addition to the Republic of Turkey, Greece, Syria, and Italy often fall under the blow of the elements. In the latter, in 2016, tremors of up to 6.5 magnitude were recorded, the catastrophe claimed the lives of more than 300 people, communes were destroyed, and the trembling of the earth was felt in Florence and Rome.

Which areas of Turkey are the most dangerous

During earthquakes in Turkey, most of all goes to areas that the mass tourist has not even heard of, located in the western, eastern and northern parts of the country. True, Istanbul and Izmir are also located there, and they also suffered from strong earthquakes in different years.

The southern part of the country, where Antalya and Alanya are located, almost does not appear in sad reports, because there are no faults in the underground plates.

It happens that earthquakes in resorts are felt, but usually they do without serious damage. The epicenter of the current disaster is located east of Antalya, in the Gaziantep region. Relocators and vacationers write that everything is in order at the resort, although tremors continue to be felt.

What to do during an earthquake

However, neglect the safety rules in Turkey, even if you are in stable Antalya, it is not worth it. There are no training alarms there: if an evacuation is announced, you should arrive at the place indicated by the authorities. In case of a sudden early departure, it is worth preparing a bag with documents, water, food and medicine. If the first shocks caught you in the building, it is important to leave it as soon as possible – but be sure to take the stairs, even if the elevators are not yet turned off. On the street, you need to move away from any buildings, even small ones, such as bus stops or billboards. If you are forced to stay indoors, you need to take cover in an empty bathroom and be sure to take your mobile phone with you.

The worst thing to do when disaster strikes is to panic. She is provoked by endless talk about the event, feverish news tracking, trust in unverified sources.

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