Earthquake shakes western Turkey

A magnitude-4.0 earthquake shook this western province early Tuesday, according to the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

No damages were reported after the quake struck — centered beneath the Aegean Sea on the coastal province at 1.52 a.m local time (1052 GMT), at a depth of 10.61 kilometers (6.5 miles), the agency said.

Tuesday's tremor was the latest in a series of more than 1,097 that have struck the area since Feb. 6.

The epicenters of the quakes ranging from magnitude-2.0 to 5.3 have hit the Aegean town of Ayvacik in Canakkale -- 248 miles (400 kilometer’s) south of Istanbul.

Nearly 1,300 homes and buildings have been damaged the the quakes, according to the province's governorship.

AFAD have built approximately 500 tents for victims and the agency has provided food and humanitarian aid to the area.

Experts believe the frequency of the earthquakes could trigger a bigger tenor that would hit Turkey's northwestern Marmara region, including the densely populated city of Istanbul.

Geologists and authorities say, however, Istanbul is not prepared for a major quake – an event experts in recent years have warned could occur at any time.

A magnitude-7.4 quake hit the industrialized town of Izmit in western Turkey on Aug. 17, 1999. Istanbul, located just 49 miles (80 kilometers) east of Izmit – was badly affected by the quake that was the deadliest in Turkey in 60 years.

Approximately 18,000 victims were killed in the disaster and nearly 50,000 others were wounded.


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