An incredible event, from the point of view of geology, happened in Turkey after a deadly earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale, which "shaken" the Asia Minor peninsula: the entire country moved by three meters.
Italian professor Carlo Donioli, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, stating "a huge event on a global scale", told the newspaper Corriere della Sera that "the Arabian plate has moved about 3 meters in the northeast direction and in the southwest direction along Anatolia" .
It should be noted that usually geological movement is 2-3 millimeters per year. Sometimes, after strong earthquakes, plates can move by 3-30 cm.
“From the estimates we have, which are gradually being refined, we know that the fault has extended at least 150 kilometers with a displacement of up to 3 meters or more. Everything happened within a few tens of seconds, which caused this earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8-7.9 on the Richter scale, an earthquake called a mega-earthquake," he said.
“It is a continuous movement, the fault plane is highly inclined, and during the event we observe a horizontal removal of the two sides of the fault. Two lithospheric plates moved against each other. In other words: Turkey seems to have shifted in relation to the Arabian Plate to the southwest."
The U.S. Geological Survey said the first quake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time Monday at a depth of 11 miles (18 km) below the surface near the city of Gaziantep in Turkey. A magnitude 7.5 aftershock was recorded nine hours later about 96 km north of Elbistan, Turkey.
Tectonic plates are massive mountain plates in the Earth's crust between 15 and 257 km thick, which are always moving slowly. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake in Turkey occurred along the East Anatolian Fault Zone, a region near the confluence of the Anatolian, Arabian and African plates.
The initial earthquake was one of the largest aftershocks to hit the continent in recent times. The strongest earthquake ever recorded was the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile with a magnitude of 9.4 to 9.6. The event was a subduction earthquake, in which one plate slides under another, causing more energy to be released and damage.