Images from rural areas around Denizli have illustrated Tuesday morning’s earth tremor was more severe than most – but nowhere near as bad as suggested in some of the British media.
Different sources have given different measurements for the initial quake. Some reported it to have been as high as 6.4 and as low as 5.5 on the Richter Scale. A couple of smaller aftershocks followed within a few minutes.
Despite damage to farm buildings and a number of homes in the area closest to the epicentre, no fatalities were recorded. Only a handful of people suffered injuries, caused mostly in the panic to leave swaying buildings.
However, back in the UK, the Daily Express linked the tremor with the holiday hotspot of Antalya almost 100 miles away and Izmir over 160 miles away.
The paper also used statistics to remind readers tens of thousands have died in earthquakes in Turkey and asked whether the country is a safe destination for holidaymakers.
However, the head of the Nature Sciences Research Department at Turkey’s Yildiz Technical University Dr Sükrü Ersoy pointed out this week’s quake was not linked to the closely-watched fault line in the Sea of Marmara which caused a much more severe earthquake in the late 1990s.
Professor of geophysics at Kocaeli University, Dr Şerif Bariş, added old and unstable buildings in the Denizli area were damaged as the epicentre of the tremor this week was just 10km deep which is relatively shallow.
Dr Zıyadın Cakır from İstanbul University’s Mines and Geological Department also reassured residents of the the Denizli region that further quakes were unlikely as the district lies some distance from any of the Mediterranean’s major fault lines.
Tremors are a fairly common phenomena around the globe, with hundreds recorded daily.
Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are also within the Mediterranean region where tremors are possible.
By far the majority are not severe enough to be felt on the surface but even those which are help to release pressure between tectonic plates, reducing the risk of a far more serious event.
In the event of a more severe tremor, older historic buildings which do not benefit from modern innovations to protect them could be at risk.
However, building regulations now in force in Turkey oblige construction firms to take account of the risks and to include earthquake protection in their designs.
Advice on how to prepare for tremors and what to do should one occur can be found here: