The day the Earth moved

How the Turkey earthquake tore a 300-kilometre rupture through the Earth’s surface

The ground in Turkey and northern Syria was torn, cracked open, and dragged in different directions after the massive 7.8 magnitude quake and its aftershocks on Feb. 6.

The map below illustrates how far the surface moved during the quake. Two clear ruptures now stretch for hundreds of kilometres where the land moved up to 7 metres (23 feet) in opposite directions.

Even at the southern tip of the larger rupture, about 150 km from the epicentre of the initial 7.8 magnitude quake, the village of Tepehan, in Hatay province, witnessed extraordinary cracks tearing through the surface.

Drone footage filmed on Feb. 10 showed fissures slicing across an olive grove in the village.

"At around 4:20 a.m. (0120GMT) at night, we woke up to a noise. With the initial panic, nobody knew whether we could leave home or whether we could survive. We lost hope," said local resident Mehmet Temizkan.

“These were very large and powerful earthquakes that ruptured all the way up to the surface over a long series of fault segments,” Eric Fielding, a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement on the agency’s Earth Observatory website.

“This generated extremely strong shaking over a very large area that hit many cities and towns full of people,” he said. “The rupture length and magnitude of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake was similar to the 1906 earthquake that destroyed San Francisco.”

Land on either side of the ruptures moved in opposite directions, settling up to 7 metres from its starting point in some locations, according to data provided by Chris Milliner of the California Institute of Technology.

Source : .Reuters

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