Magnitude 5.6 Earthquake Strikes Northern Turkey, Causing Damage but No Casualties

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey's Tokat province, causing damage but no deaths. The quake comes months after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the region, highlighting Turkey's ongoing seismic risks.

Safak Costu
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Magnitude 5.6 Earthquake Strikes Northern Turkey, Causing Damage but No Casualties

Magnitude 5.6 Earthquake Strikes Northern Turkey, Causing Damage but No Casualties

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck the northern Turkish province of Tokat on Thursday, according to Turkey's AFAD disaster management authority. The quake hit the town of Sulusaray at 6:11 p.m. local time (3:11 p.m. GMT), causing damage to some buildings but no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries.

The earthquake was felt in neighboring provinces, including Yozgat, where a two-story building collapsed. Several mudbrick and wooden homes and barns were also damaged in the village of Bugdayli near Sulusaray. Two earlier earthquakes, measuring magnitudes 4.7 and 4.1, had hit Sulusaray earlier in the day.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya stated that teams from AFAD and other related agencies were investigating the situation at the scene. "The governor, AFAD, and other relevant teams have started field assessments," Yerlikaya said. Tokat Governor Numan Hatipoglu reported that no casualties or injuries have been reported so far.

AFAD reported that the epicenter of the quake was located approximately 5.25 km underground. The tremors resulted in injuries and material damage, with five residents sustaining injuries while attempting to flee their homes in panic. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed that intervention vehicles and ambulances were dispatched to the affected area.

Why this matters: The earthquake has stirred memories of the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, 2023, claiming the lives of approximately 60,000 people in both countries. Turkey lies on active fault lines and earthquakes are frequent in the region, underscoring the ongoing seismic risks faced by the country.

In total, the tremors damaged 191 houses, 84 barns, seven mosques, and a bakery in 30 villages across three different districts in Tokat province. The affected districts in Tokat and neighboring Yozgat province closed schools for one day, and a university also canceled midterm exams. AFAD and the Turkish Red Crescent set up tents in some villages for those whose homes were damaged. The governor's office also warned residents not to drink tap water in several districts and one town due to the earthquake.

Key Takeaways

  • 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Tokat, Turkey, causing damage but no deaths.
  • Tremors felt in neighboring provinces, with a building collapse in Yozgat.
  • Damage to homes, barns, mosques, and a bakery in 30 villages across Tokat.
  • Schools and a university closed, tents set up for displaced residents.
  • Earthquake stirs memories of 2023 Turkey-Syria quake, highlighting seismic risks.