Experts analyze recent Malatya earthquakes

Experts analyze recent Malatya earthquakes
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Seismologists explain 5.3 and earlier 4.2 magnitude earthquakes that struck Malatya and assess causes and potential risks.

Yesterday, two earthquakes shook Malatya, Turkey, injuring 23 people and causing panic. The first 4.2 magnitude quake occurred during the day and was centered near Öncü. Later, around 9 p.m., a 5.3 earthquake centered near Yeşilyurt struck.

Experts analyzed the tremors felt in the surrounding provinces. Prof. Naci Gorur said the Yeşilyurt quake was probably an aftershock of the earlier earthquake, noting that they occurred on faults not on the official map, indicating possible new faults.

Prof. Suleyman Pampal called the quakes "disturbing" and pointed to the active Malatya fault. He said the Yedisu fault in the region was a seismic gap overdue for rupture. After previous devastating quakes, Prof. Osman Bektas said the seismic activity had moved north to the Malatya block, warning of more significant potential earthquakes.

Prof. Okan Tuysuz referred to similar quakes in the Malatya area. Prof. Serif Baris emphasized that these are aftershocks of the significant earthquakes in February, which are expected to decrease gradually but continue for two years. He advised against panic reactions.

Prof. Sener Uşumezsoy mapped the intensity, noting that unbroken fault sections near Yeşilyurt and Ceyhan are now emphasized. Prof. Hasan Sozbilir said the Yeşilyurt quake occurred on a branch of the Doğanşehir fault stressed by the February quakes. Aftershocks will continue, possibly peaking at magnitude 6.7.

Prof. Ovgun Ercan also classified the Malatya quakes as aftershocks. He warned that a magnitude six quake could rupture the Dead Sea Fault along the Syrian-Turkish border.

In summary, experts agree that the Malatya earthquakes are related to aftershocks of the devastating February quakes. The intense seismic activity has shifted northward, stressing local faults near Malatya. Aftershocks will continue for years, with the risk of more significant earthquakes on unbroken fault segments in February. Although there is no need to panic, damaged buildings remain dangerous. Continued vigilance and preparedness are essential for the region.