Turkey, earthquake in Düzce

Earthquake shakes Northwestern Turkey, including Istanbul

The earthquake had its epicentre in Düzce, which just a few days ago saw the anniversary of a great earthquake that killed 710 people in 1999.

An earthquake this afternoon shook the province of Düzce located in the northwest of Turkey, and could be felt throughout the region including Istanbul, the largest city in the country, although at the moment no casualties or material damage have been reported.

According to Turkish media, the earthquake would have reached an intensity of 5.3 degrees on the Richter scale, although later the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) lowered its intensity to 5. The earthquake would have unleashed around 15:40 local time (13:40 CET) with an epicentre just 14 kilometres northwest of the city of Düzce – about 215 kilometres east of Istanbul – and at a depth of 18 kilometres.

A second earthquake that reached 4.3 degrees was registered just 17 minutes later by the Kandilli Seismological Observatory in Istanbul. However, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu confirmed in a statement that there were no “negative reports” of personal or material damage.

“There have been no negative reports from the governor (of the province where the earthquake originated), from AFAD, or from 112. Public opinion will be informed as there is new news,” said the minister through Twitter. Also, through the well-known social network, the mayor of Düzce, Faruk Özlü, assured that there was no information on loss of life after the tremors, and asked population to remain calm and attentive to the news.

The earthquake could be clearly felt in several provinces of Northwestern Turkey including Kocaeli, Sakarya, Bolu or Bilecik, and also in Istanbul, which still remembers the 34 injured and about 500 damaged buildings left only two years ago by an earthquake that reached then the 5.8 degrees. Just 5 days ago, Düzce commemorated the anniversary of the great earthquake of 1999, which reached 7.2 degrees, killing 710 people, and which occurred only 3 months after the Great Marmara Earthquake that devastated the region, killing almost 20,000 people.