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Why was The Earthquake in Turkey So Deadly?

After two incredibly deadly earthquakes struck Turkey and a large portion of the Middle East, at least 7,000 people have died, and countless others are still missing. Aleppo in northern Syria, a country mired in a horrific civil war and now experiencing compounding tragedies, was particularly heavily struck. Residents of Damascus and Beirut rushed into the streets in response to the earthquake, which was felt as far away as Cairo and was centered in the province of Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey.

The fault lines beneath the area have made it prone to such earthquakes for ages. The East Anatolian fault zone, where Monday's earthquake occurred, is a seismically active region previously the source of destructive earthquakes. In January 2020, Turkey was hit by another powerful earthquake of 6.7, which significantly damaged the country's eastern part. A 7.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred in 1999 close to Istanbul is thought to have killed 18,000 people.

Since a significant earthquake had not struck the region in almost a century, the level of readiness and the structural integrity of the high-rise structures were low. Numerous systems have collapsed since the earthquake, according to officials. They included "pancake" collapses, in which the top levels of a building fall directly onto the lower floors, indicating that the structures could not withstand the shaking.

There is no way to foresee these earthquakes in the interim because the fault lines are still quiet. Researchers have long cautioned that it is very challenging to forecast when a fault line will become active.

In the past, highly destructive earthquakes have been caused by plate-boundary friction.

It resulted in an earthquake on August 13, 1822, measuring 7.4 instead of the 7.8 magnitudes measured on Monday.

Even yet, the earthquake of the 19th century caused significant damage to nearby communities, with 7,000 fatalities reported in the city of Aleppo alone. Injurious aftershocks persisted for almost a year.

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