Magnitude 4.1 quake jolts Turkey’s Erzincan on 79th anniversary of 7.9 disaster

Published 27.12.2018 20:37
Updated 27.12.2018 20:39

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake in Turkey's eastern Erzincan on Thursday reminded the horror of the devastating 1939 earthquake on its anniversary.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) stated that the epicenter of the earthquake, which took place at a depth of 12.6 kilometers, was Iliç district.

The earthquake on Thursday afternoon thankfully did not cause any injuries or material damage, unlike its 7.9 predecessor on Dec. 27, which led to the deaths of 33,000 people and injured 100,000 others.

The city of Erzincan was entirely razed to the ground due to the earthquake and subsequent fires, and had to be rebuilt a little further to the north. The surrounding region also suffered from destruction with blizzards and floods killing many others and halting aid efforts.

Erzincan remains one few cities in Turkey made up of wide streets and low rises, in addition to a higher number of green areas and parks. Earlier in the day, a drill was held with the participation of 20 institutions and 300 personnel on the 79th anniversary of the earthquake.

Erzincan sits atop the Northern Anatolia Fault (NAF), the most potentially devastating fault line in Turkey where the Anatolian and Eurasian plates meet. A strike-slip fault formed as the Anatolian plate was being pushed northwestwards by the Arabian plate, The NAF has produced devastating earthquakes throughout history, including the magnitude 7.4 earthquake on Aug.17, 1999, the worst in Turkey's recent memory which killed more than 17,000 people and injured some 43,000 people. Three months later, on Nov. 12, 1999, 845 people were and nearly 5,000 were injured in when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Düzce province, some 120 kilometers northeast of Gölcük.

Turkey is among the world's most seismically active countries as it is situated on a number of active fault lines. In the latest earthquake-related disaster, more than 600 people died in October 2011 in the eastern province of Van after a 7.2 magnitude quake and powerful aftershocks.

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