Monday, March 27th, 2023 22:24:02

Turkey sandwiched between 3 tectonic plates

Updated: February 7, 2023 3:56 pm

Millions of people in Turkey were shaken by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday morning. So far 4800 people have lost their lives. Outside Turkey, the earth shook up to Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

To understand why such a big earthquake occurred in Turkey, we have to understand the design of the earth. Actually, the earth is situated on large tectonic plates. Beneath it is liquid lava. These plates keep on floating and collide with each other many times.

Many times the corners of the plates get bent due to collision and when there is more pressure, these plates start breaking. In such a situation, the energy released from below finds a way out and after this disturbance an earthquake occurs.

Most of Turkey lies on the Anatolian tectonic plate. This plate is stuck between the Eurasian, African and Arabian plates. Turkey got stuck like a sandwich when the African and Arabian plates shifted. Due to this, energy comes out from inside the earth and earthquakes occur. Monday’s earthquake in Turkey occurred on the North Anatolian Fault Line.

We have understood why there are more earthquakes in Turkey, but to know why this earthquake is more dangerous, it is necessary to understand the science of earthquakes. When tectonic plates move within several miles of the earth, energy equal to hundreds of nuclear bombs is released. This energy creates havoc by spreading to the rest of the earth.

Now we talk about how deadly an earthquake with 7.8 magnitude is. According to Melbourne University professor and seismologist Januka Attanayake, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake is considered extremely dangerous. The reason for this is that it emits about 32 petajoules of energy, which means that a big city like New York can get electricity for more than 4 days. Januka said that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake is 708 times more powerful than a magnitude 5.9 earthquake.

Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, believes that a magnitude 7 earthquake releases 32 times more energy than the nuclear attack in Hiroshima. However, the damage caused by this type of earthquake depends on two things – first, how high is the population density of the place where the tremors were felt, and secondly, how low is the center of the earthquake.

Earlier, an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude had hit Pakistan in 2013, in which 825 people had died. Two years later, in 2015, earthquake tremors of similar intensity were felt in Nepal. More than 9000 people died in this earthquake in Nepal.

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