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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Why the earthquake in Turkey was so deadly. CNN meteorologist explains

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Monday is a tragic day for the people of Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. Thousands of people died as a result of the powerful quake and a very long series of aftershocks. CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis talked about the causes of the phenomenon, why its consequences are so unprecedented and why it will go down in history.

On Monday, the ground shook near the Turkish border with Syria. There are more and more deaths every hour. More than 2,000 people have died in Turkey alone, according to the latest information from 5 p.m. To this must be added victims from countries such as Syria and Lebanon. The damage is really very extensive, rescue operations are still ongoing.

>>> More details about the series of shocks in Turkey and the Polish reaction to them can be found at TVNMETEO.PL and TVN24.PL

Location of Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquakeUSGS

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Meteorologist Karen Maginnis explained on CNN what made Monday’s event so tragic.

Decades ago, there was an equally strong phenomenon

The expert said that the first – a very strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 – occurred around 4 am local time (in Poland it was 2 am). There have been at least 26 aftershocks in the region since then.

“The strongest of them – a magnitude of 6.8 – appeared about 11 minutes after the main quake,” she told CNN.

Earthquake and recorded aftershocks in Turkey – locations USGS

She added that the border between Turkey and Syria is “one of the most seismically active areas in the world.” – This is because we have many tectonic plates moving in this region, with many “red zones”. It’s amazing how destructive this earthquake can be, she said.

Maginnis also mentioned that although the ground is not calm there, the vast majority of vibrations recorded there are not that powerful. In 1939, there was an earthquake that had exactly the same magnitude as the first Monday quake. In that catastrophe, the death toll reached about 16-17 thousand people.

– This earthquake was shallow, which means that its effects are much more severe than if it happened deeper, closer to the Earth’s core. […] When it happened, people were sleeping in their beds and were awakened by these terrible tremors. They interrupted the power grid, access to light, gas infrastructure. Houses, buildings collapsed, apartments. Their lives are now in danger, the meteorologist said.

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria PAP

The weather makes the search difficult

A significant obstacle for the victims and rescuers who are still searching the rubble is the weather. Turkey, like many European countries, fell under the influence of frosty air masses of Arctic origin.

– Temperature values ​​are about five degrees below normal. It is raining near the quake region, but it is cold rain. There is no safe place except in the streets where people run out because they don’t know if and when the next aftershock will hit their building and so many of them are in danger of collapsing, she said.

Maginnis added that seismic vibrations are reported daily around the world, but February 6, 2023 will go down in the record books as “a massive, violent earthquake struck south-central Turkey and took the lives of so many people.” , not only in Turkey, but also in Israel, Jordan and Syria, where there are so many refugees today.”

“The weather is just one of the aggravating factors that are making the forecast worse for the next few days and weeks,” the meteorologist concluded.

Strong earthquake in Turkey and SyriaPAP

“The number of victims will increase significantly”

Other experts also talked about the possible tragic consequences.

“We can expect the earthquake death toll to increase significantly,” Rick Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director, told Reuters. “Many buildings in the ring surrounding the epicenter collapsed,” he added. Brennan noted that rescue teams have difficulty reaching the site, and buildings that are still standing despite damage could collapse in the next aftershock.

A geophysics professor at King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia is also concerned about an increase in the number of victims, Qatari TV station Al-Jazeera reports. “Extensive damage is to be expected,” Prof. Martin Mai – In the past, earthquakes in Turkey led to about 10-17 thousand deaths. fatalities due to construction technologies, he noted.

Pessimistic expectations are shared by the US Geological Survey, which points out that buildings in the region are often made of brittle concrete, making them “extremely vulnerable to tremors.”

In the region, only some of the buildings have a flexible structure that increases their resistance. Solutions for shockproof buildings significantly increase costs, writes the Planradar portal.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/REFIK TEKIN



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