GENEVA – The region between Türkiye and Syria has not witnessed such a big earthquake as the one that occurred this week in the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras for over 100 years, the director of the Swiss Seismology Service said Thursday.
Stefan Wiemer spoke to Swiss television channel SRF, which broadcasts in German, about Monday’s magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes which affected 10 provinces in southern Türkiye.
At least 17,674 people were killed and 72,879 others injured by the two strong quakes, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Thursday.
Wiemer said it is not a coincidence that strong earthquakes occur frequently between these two countries.
There are plate boundaries in the region, he said, adding that for many years, there were tensions in these areas and they were discharged by earthquakes.
“Here is the East Anatolian fault, where tensions accumulate and drain, especially with the 7.7-magnitude earthquake. Such a large earthquake is really rare,” Wiemer said. A magnitude 8 earthquake happens maybe once a year in the world, he added.
Giving an example from history, Wiemer said Aleppo was shaken many times by major earthquakes, adding, however, that an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 is already a major earthquake.
Noting that there are aftershocks for days, weeks and even months after such large earthquakes, Wiemer said these generally decrease in number and intensity over time. (Anadolu)