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2011 Turkey Earthquake


An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 has rocked eastern Turkey in one of deadliest earthquakes in more than a decade. At least 138 people were killed and 350 were injured. The quake occurred 12 miles from Van at 1:41 pm local time on October 23, 2011. The quake was centered about 16km north-northeast of Van with an estimated coal depth of 20km. Though the country is not new to earthquakes and tremors, this quake is considered one of the deadliest. Heavy damage is reported and as many as 1000 people are feared dead.

The earthquake produced significant aftershocks, the largest having a magnitude of 6.0. Neighboring countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria reported light ground motions due to this earthquake. The tremors were also felt in Tel Aviv, as reported by the Geophysical Institute of Israel.

Impact and Fatalities

The death toll stood at 138 people after the first twelve hours of the earthquake. But as many as 1000 are feared dead. The quake demolished dozens of buildings and buried numerous victims. In Ercis, a town near Van, which was hit hardest by the quake, 25 buildings were destroyed killing 45 and injuring 156. The Anatolia News Agency reported that the quake did not disrupt air traffic at Van Ferit Melen Airport.

Seven countries have expressed their condolences to Turkey and NATO offered to help. Azerbaijan was the first to aid Turkey after the quake.

Previous Earthquakes in Turkey

  • 1999 - Earthquake of magnitude 7.6 kills 17,000 in Izmit
  • 1999 - Earthquake of magnitude 7.2 kills 894 in Duzce

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