The most important earthquake and huge aftershock in Turkey on Monday are two of greater than 70 quakes of magnitude 6.5 or larger recorded within the area since 1900. Turkey’s two foremost fault zones — the East Anatolian and the North Anatolian — make it one of the seismically lively areas on the earth.

Magnitudes of main earthquakes since 1900

Map exhibiting the East Anatolian and North Anatolian fault zones in Turkey. Factors are overlaid on the map exhibiting the areas of main earthquakes within the area since 1900.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake at 4:17 a.m. native time, and the unusually giant 7.5-magnitude aftershock 9 hours later, each have been within the East Anatolian Fault Zone. However there have been a number of extraordinarily lethal quakes within the North Anatolian Fault Zones as effectively, together with one in 1999 about 60 miles from Istanbul that killed about 17,000 individuals.

These fault zones are a results of motion of huge parts of Earth’s crust, or tectonic plates, relative to one another. One zone contains the Anatolian Plate, which makes up most of Turkey. The East Anatolian zone encompasses the realm the place there’s motion of the Anatolian Plate relative to the Arabian Plate to the southeast. The North Anatolian zone is the place there’s motion of the Anatolian Plate and the Eurasian Plate to the north.

The principle quake on Monday was one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded within the space, matching the magnitude of a earthquake that killed about 30,000 individuals in December 1939 in northeast Turkey.

Deaths in main earthquakes since 1990

Round Turkey and northern Syria. Circles are sized by the variety of estimated deaths.

Chart exhibiting 12 months and the variety of deaths in earthquakes.


turkey, 2023

as of 5 p.m. E.T. on Feb. 6