Strong M5.7 Earthquake Hits Near Istanbul as Officials Say Major Quake Will Destroy Turkey’s Megalopolis Without Notice in the Next Few Years

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Today, September 26, 2019, a M5.7 earthquake hit near Istanbul, Turkey, sending residents out of buildings and on to the streets.

Meanwhile, scientists warn that a mega earthquake in the region is long overdue and would destroy at least parts of Istanbul without notice.

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A M5.7 earthquake struck near Istanbul, Turkey on September 26, 2019. Earthquake map by USGS

A strong and shallow M5.7 earthquake hit about 70 km (44 miles) west of Istanbul in the Marmara Sea at a depth of 12.6 km today.

Witnesses felt buildings shake in the city during the quake and said some offices and schools were temporarily evacuated.

However, there are no immediate reports of damage or people hurt.

Already more than 250 people reported feeling loud rumblings across different regions of Turkey. This number is increasing every hour.

The Next Big One Is Overdue For Istanbul

A team of geologists working at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, has calculated that a larger earthquake (>M7.0) will hit Istanbul’s eastern Marmara Sea, at the gates of the city in the next few years, giving people little time to find protection.

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Earthquake risks for Istanbul, Turkey.

This is both good news and bad news for the city with over 15 million inhabitants.

The rupture propagation will then run eastwards (away from the city).

But there will only be a very short early warning phase of a few second.

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Istanbul is a huge tourist travel destination. Getty Images

Istanbul was built beside the North Anatolian Fault Zone which runs just outside of the city gates below the Marmara Sea.

There is a constant swell of energy which results from an interlocking of the tectonic plates.

In 1999 a quake measuring 7.6 struck the city of Izmit, 90 km southeast of Istanbul, killing more than 17,000 people.

Already in February 2017, scientists were warning of the Big One earthquake near Istanbul. [USGS, Geophysical Journal]

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