The earthquake in Turkey was 6,000 times more powerful than the usual tremors for the region

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 The earthquake in Turkey was 6,000 times more powerful than the usual shocks for the region

The region of Turkey where the deadly earthquake occurred is located at the intersection of three tectonic plates that make up the earth's crust: Anatolian, Arabian and African. The movement of tectonic plates creates pressure on fault zones on their boundaries. It is the sudden release of this pressure that causes earthquakes and ground tremors, seismologists explain.

The last earthquake most likely occurred on one of the main faults that mark the boundaries between the Anatolian and Arabian plates: either the East Anatolian Fault or the Dead Sea Transform Fault. Although this area has many earthquakes every year, caused by the constant movement of tectonic plates , the earthquake on February 6 was the most powerful and destructive, as a lot of energy was released.

Modern seismologists use a magnitude scale that measures the amount of energy released during an earthquake. This scale is non-linear: each mark up means 32 times more energy released. That is, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake actually released 6,000 times more energy than the more moderate magnitude 5 earthquakes that typically occur in the region.

It is estimated that 610,000 people felt strong and powerful quakes in the vicinity up to 80 km in the northeast direction along the border of the tectonic plate. Light tremors were felt at a distance to the largest city of Turkey, Istanbul (about 815 km), as well as to Baghdad in Iraq (800 km) and Cairo in Egypt (950 km).

Large earthquakes are followed by many small earthquakes , known as aftershocks, as the earth's crust adjusts to voltage changes. They may last from a few days to several years after the initial event. Therefore, earthquakes of smaller magnitude continue to occur. Although aftershocks are usually much smaller than the main shock, they can be just as devastating, further damaging the infrastructure affected by the first earthquake and making rescue efforts more difficult.

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