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07/10

Chain reaction

We’ve finally reached Istanbul – the beautiful city which is scarily close to the North Anatolian fault line. This is one of the most active fault lines in the world – Turkey occupying a small tectonic plate that is being squeezed westwards as the Arabian and Eurasian plates move together.

There have been seven major earthquakes along this fault line, all above 7.0 m, each happening progressively further west. Scientists have publicly suggested that the chain of quakes isn’t yet complete and that an earthquake will soon strike further along the fault – possibly in Istanbul – a city that is substantially bigger than London, where most people live on streets that are too narrow for emergency services to access.

Before setting off along the length of the fault which has caused all this destruction we spent a night in the packed out city. Although we’ve been in earthquake prone areas for the last two months it was lying in bed here, looking up at a precariously dangling ceiling light (earthquake preparedness rule #1 ignored) that we felt nervous for the first time on the trip.

One Response to “Chain reaction”

Colin on 30/10/2010 at 12:29 pm said :

Them buildings do not look like they would withstand a slight tremour, let alone an M7 earthquake, scary, I hope building regualtions are improved before or if and when the next quake hits…

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