Magnitude 4.8 earthquake shakes Turkey's western Izmir

Published 25.12.2017 08:34
Updated 25.12.2017 09:17

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake shook Turkey's western Izmir province and surrounding areas early Monday. No casualties have been reported.

The quake occurred at 8:13 a.m. local time near the Foça district of the province in the Gulf of Izmir at a depth of 16.98 kilometers according to Boğaziçi University's Kandilli Observatory.

The earthquake was also felt in the neighboring Manisa and Aydın provinces, agencies reported.

Turkey is among the world's most seismically active countries as it is situated on a number of active fault lines, with the most potentially devastating one being the Northern Anatolia Fault (NAF), where the Anatolian and Eurasian plates meet.

The NAF, a strike-slip fault formed as the Anatolian plate was being pushed northwestwards by the Arabian plate, has produced devastating earthquakes throughout history, with the most recent ones being magnitude 7.4 and 7.2 earthquakes in northwestern Izmit and Düzce provinces in August and December 1999. The 1999 earthquakes killed thousands in Kocaeli, Adapazarı, Istanbul, Yalova and nearby towns in the northwest, which serve as Turkey's economic and industrial heartland.

In the latest earthquake-related disaster, more than 600 people died in October 2011 in the eastern province of Van after 7.2 magnitude quake and powerful aftershocks.

Years after the disaster, Turkey has seen an overhaul in measures to prevent damage from earthquakes, such as compulsory earthquake insurance and campaigns to raise awareness and inform the public about earthquake preparedness.

Additionally, the government has undertaken the ambitious project of urban transformation wherein old and crumbling buildings across the country are being demolished to make way for new, earthquake resistant buildings.

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