An earthquake centred in the gulf of Fethiye rocked the town and forced some residents to flee their homes.

According to the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute the quake measured 3.7 on the Richter Scale with the epicentre 5 km under the sea bed in the gulf of Fethiye.

The quake could be felt in Fethiye town and surrounding areas and forced some residents in the Tuzla area to flee their homes when the quake took place at 23:01Turkish Time (21:01 UTC).

Residents will often leave their homes when quakes are felt and take to the streets in the belief the will be safer there should after shocks take place.

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

This quake was particularly noticable, despite its relatively low 3.7 rating, because it was so close to a major settlement and near to the surface

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.