Unfortunately, on the morning of February 6, 2023, Turkey woke up from an earthquake of magnitude 7.7, which occurred in the Pazardzhik region of Kahramanmaras. Although search and rescue efforts in the region continue, unfortunately, thousands of our people have died and countless buildings have been damaged.
Some misinformation about an earthquake can exacerbate existing panic and anxiety. Some consistent explanations cause great confusion to millions of people. So, what are the little-known facts about earthquakes? Let’s look at the details together…
How many different magnitudes does an earthquake have?
After the earthquake in Kahramanmaras, this confusing question arose again. In the first hours of the earthquake, the Kandilli Observatory announced the magnitude of the earthquake as 7.4. On the other hand, the US Geological Survey reported that Kahramanmarash was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Later that day, the Kandilli Observatory and AFAD announced a magnitude 7.7 earthquake. So, what is the real magnitude of a terrible earthquake? How many different magnitudes can an earthquake have?
In short, an earthquake has a magnitude. However, different institutions use different scales to measure the magnitude of an earthquake. This is the reason for the confusion. The Candilli Observatory first explained the magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter scale. On the other hand, the US used the “momentary magnitude (Mw)” scale when describing the magnitude of an earthquake. Today it is accepted in scientific circles that a scale called Mw gives a more accurate result. For this reason, the Kandilli Observatory updated the earthquake’s magnitude to 7.7 MW later that day.
The earthquake measured 9.5 on the Richter scale, the strongest earthquake to date.
An earthquake hit southern Chile on May 22, 1960 and caused terrible tsunamis in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines. Another of the largest earthquakes in history occurred in Alaska in 1964 and had a magnitude of 9.2.
90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in one region
The earthquake region surrounding the Pacific Ocean is called the Ring of Fire. This region is the most volcanically active region in the world. For this reason, most of the world’s earthquakes occur on this line. After the Ring of Fire, the Alpine Belt has the most earthquakes in the world. 5 to 6 percent of the world’s earthquakes occur in this region. The Alpine belt extends across the Mediterranean to Turkey, Iran and India.
The deadliest earthquake in history occurred in China in 1556.
An estimated 830,000 people died as a result of the earthquake, which occurred during a period and geographically when many people lived in cave-like structures carved into soft stone. On the other hand, it is known that as a result of the earthquake that occurred in China in 1976, 250 thousand people died.
The world’s oldest known earthquake occurred in 1831 BC.
Like the world’s deadliest earthquake, the world’s oldest known earthquake also occurred in China.
Most earthquakes occur at a depth of less than 80 kilometers from the earth’s surface.
However, there are also earthquakes that occur at points much deeper than 80 kilometers. Earthquakes occur at a depth of 750 kilometers, at the boundary of the subsidence of the surface crust into the mantle layer. The earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaras occurred at a depth of only 7 kilometers.
There are many earthquake claims, especially on the Internet.
One of the most common of these is the claim that animals can hear the sound of an earthquake in advance. Many people believe that animals such as cats and dogs can hear the sound of an earthquake before it happens. So how true is this statement?
According to scientists, this is an unfounded claim. Because it’s not verified information. The statement is based on the change in the behavior of some animals before the earthquake. However, scientists believe that these behavioral changes are not permanent.
The number of those who believe that earthquakes occur in “certain weather” is also quite large.
The ancient Greeks believed that earthquakes usually occur during hot and dry weather. In connection with the earthquake on August 17, this belief is also very common in our country. However, scientists argue that this statement is far from the truth. Another similar belief is that earthquakes occur mostly in the morning. But in history there are many earthquakes that occurred in the evening hours.
Where is the safest place to hide during an earthquake?
It is often said that hiding on doorsteps during an earthquake is the most logical move one can make. But, according to scientists, this can only provide protection in adobe houses. Because in modern buildings, door sills are no more durable than the rest of the building. For this reason, scientists argue that those who were at home at the time of the earthquake should take shelter near household appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers.
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