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‘Impact area of earthquakes in Turkiye is twice total area of Lebanon’: Geologist

February 9, 2023 at 2:50 pm

Search and rescue operation is being carried out at the debris of a building in Cukurova district of Adana [ Eren Bozkurt – Anadolu Agency ]

The impact area of the earthquakes that hit southern Turkiye on Monday was equivalent to twice the total area of neighbouring Lebanon, according to a Lebanese geologist, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“The fault line that broke in Turkiye is nearly 350 kilometres (217.5 miles) long. It is a very long fault line covering a large area,” Tony Nemer, a geologist at Beirut American University in the Lebanese capital, told Anadolu.

Nemer said that only part of the East Anatolian fault line was broken in the recent earthquake, while there was no activity in the other part.

“There is no activity in almost half of the fault line. Now authorities in Turkiye need to pay attention to the second part. I’m talking about the eastern part of the fault line. It’s unpredictable when there will be activity in this part. It may be right now, in a short time or in a few years,” he said.

The scientist also warned about disinformation on social media.

On an alleged tsunami threat to Turkiye and neighbouring countries, he said: “In order for a post-earthquake tsunami to occur in the region, the earthquake’s base must be on the coast. The epicentre must be very close to the undersea. Thankfully, this earthquake was not under the sea. Otherwise, there would have been serious turbulence and big waves in the sea and then a tsunami may have occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Over 14,000 people were killed and nearly 63,800 injured by two strong earthquakes which jolted southern Turkiye on Monday, according to the latest official figures.

The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, centred in the Kahramanmaras province, were felt by 13 million people across 10 provinces, also including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, felt strong tremors that struck Turkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

READ: Proximity to surface, type of fault line key in Turkiye quakes’ severity, say US experts