Over 11,500 aftershocks have been reported since the massive Feb. 6 quakes in the country’s south, professor Orhan Tatar, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s (AFAD) general manager of earthquake response and risk reduction, said recently.
As of March 3, at least 45,089 people lost their lives in Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya and Elazığ after two major earthquakes in a disaster dubbed as “disaster of the century.”
At the same time 1,971,589 earthquake survivors have been evacuated from the region to other provinces, officials noted. However, aftershocks and new earthquakes continue to hit the southeastern region, with the latest 5.0 magnitude quake registered on Friday morning in Kahramanmaraş at 5.53 a.m. local time (2:53 a.m. GMT).
Tatar explained that data from 1,145 earthquake recording stations across the country are evaluated at the AFAD’s Earthquake Monitoring and Evaluation Center, where 26 personnel work on a 24-hour basis.
He also said that there are deep well-placed seismometer devices at various spots primarily near the Marmara Sea that measure seismographic activities that record local tremors and earthquakes in 13 neighboring countries.
Noting that earthquakes with a magnitude of 0.2 and above, which are described as micro-earthquakes, can be measured with these devices, and very small-scale movements in the Earth’s crust can be monitored with the tension meter device, Tatar said: “While the earthquakes measured in the Earthquake Monitoring and Evaluation Center usually average 60-70, now we are measuring hundreds of them. After the two main shocks experienced on Feb. 6, we measured over 11,500 aftershocks.”
He stated that they use domestic software in the center and transfer technology to the surrounding countries. “We have recently renewed Azerbaijan’s seismological laboratories and infrastructure and transferred our software. We will do the same in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the near future.”
He noted that through the signals received, they can instantly detect an earthquake. ”Then what we call ‘an automatic solution’ shows us where, at which location, and at what magnitude the quake occurred. Soon after our colleagues on duty, who analyze the data to confirm the occurrence, offer a definitive result within four to five minutes.”
Tatar also stated that there are active fault lines that can produce earthquakes at any time in Türkiye, noting that tremors may occur until a certain period since the Earth’s crust was affected after the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes.