Turkey has become familiar with a worrying pattern in which it experiences low magnitude earthquakes more frequently than usual. Since last autumn, casualty-causing earthquakes have hit eastern towns and cities, while some lower magnitude earth tremors have occurred in western parts of the country.
On June 26, an earthquake with a preliminary measure of magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter scale hit a town in western Turkey, sending people rushing out of buildings, AFP reported. There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.
The earthquake was centred in the town of Saruhanli, in Manisa province, and it was felt in the neighbouring provinces of Izmir, Aydin and Mugla.
The quake came a day after another tremor, measuring 5.4, shook the eastern province of Van, near the border with Iran, slightly injuring five people and damaging homes.
Turkey is crossed by two major fault lines and earthquakes are frequent.
In 1999, a magnitude-7.4 quake killed more than 17,000 people in northwestern Turkey, severely damaging the city of Izmit.
Seismologists warn that the northwest could again be hit by a big-magnitude earthquake. The region includes biggest Turkish city and commercial capital Istanbul, which accounts for a huge proportion of the country’s population and economy.
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