Is Istanbul next? North Anatolian Fault is currently locked, accumulating stresses which could be suddenly released anytime now like the Hayward Fault in California

Earthquakes in Turkey in February 2023
Map of earthquakes after M7.8 in Turkey. More than 60 strong aftershocks recorded, including a M7.5… Via CNN

About 24 hours after two very strong earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey, rescue crews are still trying to free survivors from the rubble of collapsed buildings. More than 4300 people are known to have been killed in the quake, which shook the region on Monday morning evening, local time (February 6, 2023).

In Turkey, at least 2,921 people were killed and more than 15,800 others injured, according to Turkey’s head of disaster services, Yunus Sezer. In neighboring Syria, at least 1,451 people have died. According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, 711 people have died across government-controlled areas, mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, and Tartus.

Freezing temperatures and hundreds of aftershocks are hampering the work of the rescuers and making the plight of the survivors even worse.

As shown in the map below, the 7.8-magnitude earthquake at 4:17 a.m. local time, and the unusually large 7.5-magnitude aftershock nine hours later, both were in the East Anatolian Fault Zone. But there have been several extremely deadly quakes in the North Anatolian Fault Zones as well, including one in 1999 about 60 miles from Istanbul that killed about 17,000 people.

Earthquake Faults in Turkey
Geology map of Turkey. Includes earthquakes since 1900 that are classified as significant earthquakes by the National Centers for Environmental Information based on a series of criteria including deaths, damage and magnitude. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationUnited States Geological Survey .Squeezed between the Arabian and the Eurasian Plate, the Anatolian Fault escapes towards the West. Monday’s quakes occurred at the lowest end of the East Anatolian Fault and are colored in Red. via NYT

The epicenters of the quakes and aftershocks were located on the East Anatolian Fault about 400 miles east-southeast of the Turkish capital, Ankara. This fault is one of the two major earthquake zones in the country, which straddles both Europe and Asia and is an historic crossroads. In fact, Turkey is one of the seismically most active nations in Eurasia.

The cause of the dangerous seismic activity is the collision of several of the plates, which make up the surface of the earth like a giant, slowly moving jigsaw puzzle.

Much of the Asian portion of Turkey is its own plate, the Anatolian Plate. This relatively small puzzle piece is being squeezed between two giants of the plate tectonic system.

Coming from the south with a velocity of approximately one inch per year, the Arabian Plate is ramming into the Eurasian Plate, the stable platform extending along the northern edge of Turkey. In fact the Eurasian plate stretches for thousands of miles from the midocean ridge in the Atlantic Ocean into Eastern Siberia.

Caught between these two monster plates, the Anatolian block is trying to escape the enormous squeezing forces by wriggling out of their stranglehold toward the west. Like most tectonic movements, this slow inching is not smooth and slick. Instead the Anatolian Plate is scraping and lurching past its bigger neighbors on its way west towards Greece and the Aegean Sea.

tectonic plates in Turkey
tectonic plates in Turkey via DW

In the northern regions of Turkey, this scraping motion is very similar to that taking place between the North American and the Pacific Plates here in California. It therefore leads to a strike slip fault similar to the San Andreas Fault. This major fault is called the North Anatolian Fault (NAF).

Some of the strongest quakes ever measured in Asia Minor occured along this seismic demarcation line. Among them was the most destructive quake in Turkey in the past hundred years, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake which struck the city of Erzincan in 1939, killing an estimated 33,000 people.

The eastern edge of the Anatolian Plate also scrapes past its tormentor, the Arabian Plate, forming the East Anatolian Fault (EAF). Along this line, the two blocks also move in a strike slip fashion. Monday’s quakes took place right on the EAF, starting at a depth of only 7.5 miles. While several other segments of the EAF had ruptured in recent decades, the section which broke on Monday had not experienced a significant quake for almost 100 years.

earthquake hazard map of Turkey
Earthquake hazard map of Turkey. The seismic hazard in Turkey follows basically along the two major fault lines, the North-and the East-Anatolian Fault. These faults are also the boundaries of the Anatolian Plate (see Figure 1). The darker red the color, the larger the hazard.

Is Istanbul next?

The Turkish metropolis of Istanbul is sitting on a so-called powder keg. Experts agree that we can expect a strong earthquake in the immediate vicinity of the city of Istanbul in the near future. This assessment is derived from the occurrence of several earthquakes in the course of Istanbul’s history, the ongoing conti­nental drift beneath the Marmara Sea, and the fact that an area of the fault zone which at present is showing no seismic activity is located directly off the gates of Istan­bul.

The North Anatolian Fault Zone and the direction of movement of the Anatolian plate with respect to the stationary Eurasian plate are depicted on the map. Earthquakes repeatedly occur along the fault zone; their chronology is shown on the map.
The North Anatolian Fault Zone and the direction of movement of the Anatolian plate with respect to the stationary Eurasian plate are depicted on the map. Earthquakes repeatedly occur along the fault zone; their chronology is shown on the map. Illustration: Wissensplattform, Licence: CC BY 4.0

Many factors indicate that this area is currently locked. Then stresses are accumulated which at some stage exceed the strength of the rock and are then released within seconds creating an offset of both plates of several meters. The resulting seismic waves represent the actual thread for buildings, infrastructure and thus the local population. So it is not the question of “whether“, but of “how strong“ and “when“.

Geologists said last year during the Earthquake Week that the likelihood of a magnitude 7 tremor in Istanbul before 2030 is 64 percent. It is 75 before 2050 and 95 before 2090… So we are overdue…

Similarity to Hayward Fault in California

In a tweet, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough likened the size of the initial earthquake in Turkey to San Francisco’s Great Earthquake of 1906, which left more than 3,000 dead and much of the city in ruin. But what about the geology?

This quake-free interval and the destruction which followed served as a reminder of the severe seismic hazard lurking beneath our feet here in Northern California.

The Hayward Fault, like the NAF and the EAF, a strike-slip fault caused by the lateral movement of two plates, has also not had a significant rupture since its last great temblor in October 1868.

After 15 decades of relative quiesence, a quake with a magnitude between 6.7 and 7 is very likely to happen in the next thirty years. The size of Monday’s quakes in Eastern Anatolia, 7.5-7.8 on the moment magnitude scale, exactly matches the average projected for a damaging quake on the Hayward Fault.

This coincidence in size and the disastrous consequences of the quake in Turkey highlight the hazard of the fault along the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. [ESKP, NYT, CNN, Hurriyet, DW]

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  1. How did a seismologist predict the Turkey earthquake 3 days earlier?
    A Dutch researcher predicted that an earthquake would hit the region, highlighting with almost exact precision the epicenter of the quake that would soon strike.
    A Dutch expert published a tweet on his Twitter account three days before the earthquake in Turkey on Monday, predicting that a powerful earthquake would happen imminently in Turkey.

    He even attached an aerial photograph and marked the area where the disaster would happen.

    Dutch seismologist Frank Hoogerbeets, who works for the Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGS) in the Netherlands, predicted the earthquake in Turkey on February 3. My predictions was based on
    natural power , i never read this news until now….
    Also Israel in state of Emergency code red for waiting Ayatollahs attack , how ever if any attacks comes from Mullahs response we shall see crash of Ayatollahs. Hell to Ayatollahs they are cancer of middle east and must go now… Please know no nation wants Iranian civilization die but Iranian are ready to sacrifice their blood for the peace … Please when Israel attack is coming soon to Ayatollahs
    weather with USA or not make sure Ayatollahs are under attack not Iran… IRGC , Sepah, Bassiji and so on are under attack not people of Iran.. People of Iran will dance in streets for regime change now.

  2. My Predictions came through for FEB 3 Full Moon… Indeed you are right also manipulations by HAARP and because Turkey refuse let Iceland Sweden and Swiss to Join … This is punishment by UK New World Order to let Ordogan PR in Turkey knows if he does not change his decision , Turkey will get in to ashes …. by UK New World Order … Still more shaking from other faults in turkey is live
    so far over 1000s of after shocks with new quakes is still shaking Turkey.. Third Shaking of World is
    in full motions by great spirit red Indian Prophecy.

  3. Manuel, In your opinion are the earthquakes increasing in volume or is this similar to what we have seen in the last 100 years?

    • If we talk about Turkey, We knew that the Anatolian Faults ( North and East) accumulate stress since a long time. It has to be released somehow. Sometimes it is in swarms of small quakes and sometimes its a big jolt. In this case, what’s amazing is that we got two ‘monsters’ within hours of each others… Now hopefully we won’t see more in the area over the next days.

      Otherwise, if you compare the significant earthquakes this year (2023) vs the significant earthquakes last year (2022) over the same period of time, we have a decrease in numbers (18 vs 24), but an increase in magnitude…

      • Manuel,
        Need to go back further as the increase has been occurring over the last 25 years or so, due to the approach of Nibiru. Certainly, within that window there will be ups and downs on a yearly basis. Not a linear increase. Someone charted this, and up to 6.0, there has been a massive increase worldwide, but above that it plateaued. That’s why I believe they are messing with the data.

  4. Trannypedohomo Court House Insurrection:

    So, a couple hundred perverts are having a court house insurrection, and where is the fb-lie? Why are they not chucking asswhores in jail, and violating their rights? I will tell you why. Marxist overthrows usually involve subverting the Justice system to attack the people opposed to marxism. That is what two-tiered justice. I call it marxist-satanist subversion.

      • Yes. It’s right on the Saint Lawrence Seaway fault. It will trigger when the New Madrid goes. Guess area around there will spread some. Anyway, Buffalo is supposed to take a big hit and be devastated. The New Madrid event does a job on much of east of the Mississippi. The Seaway fault comes up the Saint Lawrence River. Threads its way through the Great lakes and goes underground at Duluth, MN. Pops back out at the Black Hills of SD. Pivot point. This is why the Black Hills exist.

  5. Update:

    Approximately 20,000 dead, and 5,600 buildings demolished.

    Excellent article, which plays to my hypothesis that huge quakes have a dominoe effect, and lead to more quakes.

  6. I am 59, and have never experienced a quake. That has gotta be, some terrifying stuff. Each tick of the clock an eternity.

    • You are lucky to never have experienced a quake. I have been through a few. There are shakers and rollers. Both suck.

      • I was on a business trip to an electronic company in the Santa Clara area. Known as the South Bay Area. Was staying at hotel with 6 floors. I was on the 4th floor. In the middle of the night, I came awake to the entire place moving around. Dark as knocked out power. I didn’t have a flashlight, and this was pre-cell phone era. Sleep in my birthday suit. I was feeling very vulnerable. It was a reported size of 4.5.

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