No swinging lights or panic in the streets but the small quake felt this morning in Fethiye reminds us that we are living in an earthquake zone.

A small quake was felt in Fethiye this morning at around 8 am.

The Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute confirmed that a quake of 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred near the town of Denizli.

A further three quakes occurred in the hour in same area but with lesser power.

Many parts of Turkey including Fethiye are situated on or near major fault lines or cracks in the earths crust that move from time to time.

Fethiye was levelled in 1957 by an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. The nearby Greek island of Rhodes was also significantly damaged.

What is the Richter Scale?

The Richter Scale is the best known scale for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes. The magnitude value is proportional to the logarithm of the amplitude of the strongest wave during an earthquake. A recording of 7, for example, indicates a disturbance with ground motion 10 times as large as a recording of 6. The energy released by an earthquake increases by a factor of 30 for every unit increase in the Richter scale.

So what does that mean to the person on the street?

The table below describes what happens at different magnitudes:

<3.4 Mostly undetectable by humans
3.5 – 4.2 Noticeable indoors
4.3 – 4.8 Windows and doors rattle
4.9 – 5.4 Every one notices, lights swing and things may shake off shelves
5.5 – 6.1 Slight damage to buildings, plaster cracks, loose masonry will fall
6.2 – 6.9 Damage to buildings, foundations move and chimneys will fall
7.0 – 7.3 Serious damage – buildings may collapse
7.4 – 7.9 Major damage to roads, rail and all buildings
Over 8 Total damage, the ground will be seen to move

The above effects may be different depending on the structure of the ground. Those on unstable ground such as clay will feel greater effects than those on a stable ground such as granite.

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