More quakes strike Turkey

Two earthquakes struck Turkey in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said.

A 4.8 magnitude quake struck the Kirkagac district of Turkey’s western province Manisa province at 2:26 p.m. local time from a depth of 6.99 kilometers, while a stronger 5.4 magnitude quake struck at 6:38 p.m. in the Mediterranean Sea off the western town of Marmaris.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, injuries, or significant damage following the tremors, which caused panic among the public.

Tuesday’s quakes came after a powerful earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8, hit eastern Turkey on Friday evening. The Elazig quake killed 41 people and injured 1,607 others.

Last week, another two quakes had jolted Manisa and the capital Ankara with magnitudes of 5.4 and 4.5, respectively.

Being one of the most seismically active countries in the world, Turkey lies on major faultlines.

A devastating 7.4 magnitude quake struck the western province of Izmit in 1999, killing more than 17,000 people, including some 1,000 in neighboring Istanbul, the country’s largest city with more than 15 million people.

Experts have long criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for its reluctance to take measures in preparation for a possible earthquake and have instead allowed numerous buildings to be constructed that do not meet the minimum earthquake safety requirements.

Naci Gorur, a geologist at Istanbul Technical University, had warned the Turkish authorities during the past several months that a severe earthquake was imminent in Elazig.

The geologist participated in many public events and programs, urging the officials and locals in Elazig to take precautions.

“Barely any preparations were made,” said Gorur after his predictions proved to be correct on Friday.

The 72-year-old said the danger has not passed as the East Anatolian faultline has started to move after the Friday quake, claiming that the areas east of Elazig towards Bingol and the southwest near Malatya are particularly at risk.

“How are we supposed to stop earthquakes?” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, responding to the criticism for his government’s inaction against the quake.

The Ankara public prosecutor’s office has launched investigations against 50 individuals for making quake-related “provocative comments” on social media, the country’s state-run news agency Anadolu (AA) said.

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