Home / News / World /  Turkey may have displaced by 5 metres after massive earthquake, says expert

Turkey's deadly earthquake that has left more than 17,000 people dead could have caused the country to move five to six meters compared to Syria, according to Italian seismologist Professor Carlo Doglioni. The earthquake, which was centred in Turkey's southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, was a result of the grinding of the tectonic plates that the country sits on.

The quake was caused by the horizontal sliding of two plates, the Anatolian and Arabica plates, which resulted in the Anatolian plate moving towards the Southwest.

An enlarged map of tectonic plates responsible for Turkey-Syria earthquake
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An enlarged map of tectonic plates responsible for Turkey-Syria earthquake

Under the surface of Turkey, two plates jerked passed one other as one moved west and the other east, causing the deadly earthquake. The earthquake was a strike-slip quake, where two tectonic plates slide past each other horizontally, and was part of a single seismic sequence that was unleashed at the intersection of four plates, including the Anatolian, Arabica, Eurasian and African plates.

The quake took place in the seismically active East Anatolian fault zone, which has a history of producing damaging earthquakes.

In response to the disaster, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was scheduled to travel to the quake-hit provinces of Gaziantep, Osmaniye, and Kilis, amid criticism that the government's response has been slow. Turkey's disaster management agency reports that over 60,000 people have been injured, in addition to the 12,873 deaths reported.

On the Syrian side of the border, there have been 3,162 reported deaths and more than 5,000 injuries.

While rescue efforts continue, the loss from the earthquake could reach over $4 billion, according to Fitch Ratings. The insured losses, however, will be much lower, possibly around $1 billion, due to low insurance coverage in the area.

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