Turkey could have moved three metres following catastrophic earthquake, expert claims
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The catastrophic earthquake that has killed thousands across Turkey and Syria has led to the earth moving three metres in its wake, an expert has said.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck a large area of southern Turkey and part of northern Syria in the early hours of Monday morning (6 February).
Officials have said that more than 4,300 people have died across the two countries, with the Turkish Emergency and Disaster Management Organization (AFAD) confirming there have been 2,291 fatalities in Turkey, along with 15,834 people sustaining injuries in the disaster.
There has also been widespread destruction to homes, buildings and roads, while an Italian seismology expert said the ground itself has moved significantly after the deadly quake.
Professor Carlo Doglioni, president of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera: “What we call the Arabian plate moved about 3 meters along the northeast-southwest direction relative to the Anatolian plate.
“We are talking about a structure in the border region between this world, that of the Arabian plate and that of the Anatolian plate.”
The area sits on several fault lines, meaning it is frequently struck by earthquakes.
According to the US Geological Survey, this week’s was centred about 33 kilometres from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, in the region of Anatolia.
Doglioni added: “We are talking about continuous movement, the plane of the fault is very inclined and during the event we observe a horizontal displacement of the two sides of the fault. The two fins moved relative to each other.
“In other words: it is as if Turkey had moved in relation to the Arabian plate to the southwest.”
Authorities have urged people to stay off the roads, with mosques in the area opened up to offer shelter to those who cannot return to their homes but who need to get out of the cold.
In the opposition-held areas of Syria, the Syrian Civil Defense described the situation as 'disastrous', stating that many were still trapped beneath the rubble of buildings felled in the quake.
Tremors were also felt as far away as Greenland - 3,433 miles (5,524 kilometres) from the epicentre of the humongous quakes - the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland confirmed.
"The large earthquakes in Turkey were clearly registered on the seismographs in Denmark and Greenland," seismologist Tine Larsen said, as per The Local.
"The waves from the earthquake reached the seismograph on the Danish island of Bornholm approximately five minutes after the shaking started."
She added: "Eight minutes after the earthquake, the shaking reached the east coast of Greenland, propagating further through all of Greenland."
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