Earth quakes are a natural phenomenon, one that affects most countries. Their destructive capability depends on their magnitude, magnitude of about 4.0 and above are usually considered dangerous and chaotic. Countries that suffer this form of natural disaster have come to terms with nature, understanding that these wraths can come at any time and little or nothing can be done about them. Humanity, with our conspicuous progress on different areas of life, are yet to fully device a means through which disasters like earth quake can be accurately monitored and predicted.
On Friday 30th of October, at about 2:51 pm local time, just as the citizens of turkey were wallowing in the spirit of celebration. A celebration born out of the 29th of October, the day they became a republic. As most have witnessed in the past, nature unleashed her wrath. An earth quake of magnitude 6.6, hit the western province of Izmir, Turkey. The earthquake was felt in provinces as far as İstanbul, Bodrum, Muğla and Manisa. According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the earthquake had an epicentre 13 km northeast of the Greek island of Samos, Turkish Red Crescent, (2020).
The devastating effect of the quake, ruined a lot of infrastructures in different areas of the city, causing the residents to run into the streets in panic. So far at least 17 buildings have been reported to have collapsed. Turkish Interior Ministry announced that the earthquake has claimed about 21 lives and injured over 700 people. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) Search and Rescue Teams continues around 13 buildings and so far 70 people have been rescued from the debris in Bayraklı district of İzmir, Turkish Red Crescent, (2020). A day of celebration and happiness, now turned to mourning and sadness.
Earthquakes are caused by a sudden release of stress along faults in the earth’s crust. The continuous movement of tectonic plates causes a steady accumulation of pressure in the rock strata, when the stress is much, it is suddenly released. The resulting waves of seismic energy propagate through the ground and over its surface, causing the shaking we perceive as earthquakes. Tectonic earth quakes account for the most occurring earthquakes world wide.
Some locals of countries frequently affected by earth quakes believe that frequent occurrences of low magnitude earthquakes of about 3.0 and below, is mind relaxing rather than terrifying. Some believe, when it takes a long period of time before a low magnitude earth quake is felt, it creates a tension that the next earthquake would have a high magnitude.
Nature can be beautiful and gifting, yet so ugly and consuming. it is necessary that more effort is put into the accurate prediction of natural disasters like earthquake, this would go a long way in devising precautionary measures to reduce the high risk of mortality.
Emmanuel Ikenna Orindu.
Turkish Red Crescent, (2020) Relief web.