tectonic faults in Turkey

Experts warn of major earthquake in eastern Turkey

While Turks still remembe the more than 53. 000 deaths caused by the wave of earthquakes that devastated southeastern Turkey just a year ago, and with the news opening today with a new quake – this time of only 4.6 – in the northwestern province of Çanakkale, several experts warn that Turkey’s eastern provinces should prepare for a potential major earthquake because of the East Anatolian Fault, which runs through the entire region and has been accumulating energy for years, if not centuries.

This is according to experts such as Professor Orhan Kavak of the Mining Engineering Department at Diyarbakır’s Dicle University, who, after recalling that “earthquakes are a certainty in our future and it is crucial to understand their reality”, points out that the provinces along the East Anatolian Fault, and most especially the province of Bingöl, are at risk from the accumulation of tensions on the fault.

“We can expect earthquakes in Hakkari soon. There has been a transfer of energy from Kahramanmaraş and Malatya (epicentre of the earthquakes a year ago, described as “the worst seismic disaster in a century“) to Bingöl, indicating that there is potential for an earthquake of intensity greater than 6 in Bingöl,” Kavak said.

Ercan Aksoy, another seismology expert at the Geological Engineering Department of Elazığ’s Fırat University, also believes that a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that occurred in January 2020 in the Sivrice district of Elazığ and left dozens dead was the first sign that the East Anatolian Fault has awakened and that there will be a major earthquake in eastern Turkey. Aksoy believes that the Karlıova district in Bingöl province is likely to be the epicentre of a future major earthquake in the region, as this is where the East Anatolian Fault meets the North Anatolian Fault, which runs through northern Turkey all the way to Istanbul.