A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on October 23, 2011. The hardest hit area was Ercis, an eastern city of 75,000 close to the Iranian border, which sits on one of Turkey’s most earthquake-prone zones. The busy city of Van, about 55 miles south, also sustained substantial damage. Highways in the area caved in and Van’s airport faced serious damaged, forcing flights to be diverted.
Earthquake mitigation is the measures taken to help reduce the severity of damage caused by earthquakes to life, property, and the environment. Typically, “earthquake disaster mitigation” refers to interventions to strengthen the built environment while “earthquake protection” refers to human, social and administrative aspects of reducing earthquake effects.
At home there are five precautions families can take to prevent the risk of earthquakes.
Though the event shocked much of the world, the March 11 earthquake in Japan should have not come as such a big surprise in the eyes of geologists. Evidence shows that “the entire subduction zone along the Japan Trench behaves as one enormous unit rather than segmented sections that rupture with different frequencies and strengths” [Suwa et al., 2006].
This year, August 23, the Central Virginia Seismic Zone released an earthquake due to reverse faulting on a north-northeast striking plane. In 1875, the largest historical shock from this region occurred. Since the 18th century, the Central Virginia Seismic Zone has experienced small to moderate earthquakes.
The 2011 earthquake struck 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia.
It seems that after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene came blasting up the eastern seaboard, the great East Coast earthquake of 2011 has been forgotten. Luckily, we’re still getting images of some of the damage from the M5.8 earthquake – and we’re still experiencing aftershocks from the event (although no where near as powerful).
Longtime Denison employee Lyn Boone (who retired in 2010), sent me some images that her brother sent from Mineral, Virginia, the epicenter of the earthquake.