A series of earthquakes that have spread through the earth with varying strengths since the devastating Turkish earthquake raises concerns and questions about whether irreversible cracks have struck the earth’s crust.

Earthquakes in February 2023 with a magnitude of 7.5 to 7.8 are one of the strongest seismic events that have been observed on Turkish lands since 1939.

These shocks were so strong that they were felt in Northern Cyprus, Lebanon, Palestine, Georgia, Armenia and Abkhazia. After the first earthquake, Turkey alone experienced dozens of aftershocks, including three of magnitude 6 or more.

Areas in the governorates of Latakia and Aleppo in Syria were severely damaged and thousands of people were killed, in addition to the destruction of the Aleppo Citadel, which is classified as a world heritage site by the United Nations.

For clarification, as a rule, earthquakes occur near the boundaries of lithospheric plates and active faults. The Northern Anatolia Rift Zone is a particularly seismic zone in Turkey. This fault extends from Izmit to Lake Van, which borders Iran, Georgia and Armenia.

Almost all of Turkey’s densely populated cities lie on the northern boundary of the Anatolian Plate, which is joined by the Arabian and African Plates.

Although the cities of Cesme and Mersin on the Aegean coast are considered safer in terms of earthquakes, this is more the exception than the rule. Almost all of Turkey is prone to seismic tremors, and seismologists record at least 15 tremors in the area every year.

In fact, earthquakes happen more often than we know, about 100,000 per year! But some of them turn into destructive earthquakes that pose a threat to the lives of people and buildings, which occurred against the background of large movements of the earth’s crust at a shallow depth, while the number of observed earthquakes does not exceed a hundred or less per year.

Nikolai Shestakov, professor at the Department of Monitoring and Development of Geographical Resources at the Polytechnic Institute of the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia, explains the origin of earthquakes simply: “Let’s imagine that the Earth is a sandwich consisting of different layers. Its upper part is the earth’s crust, which has a small thickness of about ten to one hundred “km, which is scanty for the radius of the Earth, equivalent to 6371 km. The earth’s crust is divided into plates, and these plates are in constant motion with respect to each other. There are several types of plate interactions. Somewhere they collide and mountains tend to rise in those collision zones. And, a vivid example of this, the Himalayas.

Further, the Russian scientist explains the behavior of earthquakes: “Somewhere the plates diverge, for example, the central oceanic ridge, the rift zone on Baikal. There are subduction zones, and in them, when the plates collide, one sinks under the other. We have the Kuril-Kamchatka region, which is the most vulnerable.” For earthquakes in Russia Earthquakes occur there constantly Some plates move parallel to each other Earthquakes occur along the boundaries of plates Inside the plates, if earthquakes occur, then they are insignificant and very rarely Turkey is located in the zone of complex interaction of three plates at once, African, Anatolian and Arabian.

In this context, the professor points out that the deepest earthquake in history occurred in 2013 in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, off the western coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, 560 km west of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Its epicenter was at a depth of more than 600 km.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center, more than 540 aftershocks occurred in the Mediterranean region during the two days of earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6 and 7.

A week earlier, on January 28, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 was recorded in the northwest of Iran, 34 km southeast of the Iranian city of Khoy.

Moreover, at the beginning of this year, a record number of earthquakes occurred in general: aftershocks of magnitude 4.1 occurred in central Italy off the coast of the Adriatic Sea, one off the coast of Indonesia with a magnitude of 7.6, and a second magnitude of 4.7 off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Albanian city of Tirana. Also off the coast of Vanuatu, at a depth of more than 27 kilometers, an earthquake of magnitude 7 was recorded, which led to another destructive phenomenon – a tsunami.

The five strongest earthquakes recorded in the last 100 years:

The Kamchatka earthquake had a magnitude of 9.0, and it was in November 1952. As a result of this earthquake, which occurred at the convergent boundary of two plates in the Pacific Ocean, a huge tsunami was formed that destroyed many areas of the Kuril Island and Kamchatka.

A magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit East Japan in 2011 and triggered one of the most destructive tsunamis in human history, killing 20,000 people.

In the spring of 1964, an earthquake of magnitude 9.2 hit Alaska. There were no casualties as the area was sparsely populated.

The 9.3 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004 had a devastating impact on Indonesia. The tsunami killed almost a quarter of a million people.

The great Chilean earthquake of 1960 with a magnitude of 9.5 caused not only the strongest shocks, but also the most powerful tsunami that swept almost the entire Pacific coast.

Fortunately, scientists have discovered that strong earthquakes, especially deep ones, release energy through the friction of the lithospheric plates.

And according to precise scientific calculations, it has been found that the amount of energy capable of causing the earth to “break apart” can lead to an earthquake that is 53,000 times stronger than the strongest earthquake recorded by mankind in its history!

Source: RT

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