Turkey sits at the crossroads of tectonic plates as well as civilisations (The Economist – February 9, 2023)


The earthquakes that ripped across southern Turkey and northern Syria in the small hours of February 6th were among the most devastating of this century. Within three days of the disaster, the reported death toll surpassed 10,000.

This horrifying impact stems largely from shoddy construction practices and from the timing of the quake, which occurred while people were sleeping. But any seismic event this powerful—the biggest quakes were of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5—would inflict grave damage.

Worldwide, only around 15 earthquakes of magnitude seven or greater happen each year. Although Turkey is far from the Pacific “ring of fire” that generates most of the world’s strongest earthquakes, its neighbourhood is unusually seismically active.

Quakes tend to occur along the boundaries between tectonic plates, the segments of Earth’s crust that get moved around by convection currents in the hot mantle below. Along the fault lines that separate plates, crustal rocks move slowly past each other, often sticking and jamming.

For the rest of this article: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2023/02/09/turkey-sits-at-the-crossroads-of-tectonic-plates-as-well-as-civilisations?utm_content=article-link-8&etear=nl_today_8&utm_campaign=r.the-economist-today&utm_medium=email.internal-newsletter.np&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=2/9/2023&utm_id=1486349