Tuesday 12 June 2012

Earthquake off the Turkish coast.

On Sunday 10 June 2012, slightly before 3.45 pm local time (slightly before 12.45 pm GMT) an Earthquake occurred about 20 km off the southern coast of Turkey, roughly 60 km east of the Greek island of Rhodes. This measured 5.8 on the Richter Scale and occurred at a depth of 39.6 km according to the United States Geological Survey. There are no reports of any fatalities or serious damage from either country, but both suffered minor damage to buildings and property, and a number of people were reportedly injured while escaping from buildings in Turkey.

Map showing the location of the quake and the areas that suffered the worst shaking. USGS.

The affected area is on the boundary between the Anatolian Plate (which underlies most of Turkey) and the Aegean Sea Plate, which underlies the Greek Islands. These two microplates are caught in the closing gap between the African and Eurasian Plates. The Anatolian Plate is being pushed westward by the northward movement of the Arabian Plate, forcing the Aegean Sea Plate to the southeast. This places a great deal of stress on the rocks of the region, leading to frequent Earthquakes.

Simplified map of the plate movements of the eastern Mediterranean. Univeriteit Utrecht.

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