A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the EMSC as M6.8 hit eastern Turkey at 17:55 UTC (20:55 local time) on January 24, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles). The USGS is reporting M6.7 at a depth of 10 km. This earthquake can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.
The epicenter was located 5.1 km (3.1 miles) ENE of Doganyol (population 6 332), 35.3 km (29.1 miles) SE of Baskil (population 15 922), 38.3 km (23.7 miles) NW of Cemik (population 20 975), 40.1 km (24.8 miles) SSW of Elazig (population 298 004) and 59 km (36.6 miles) W of Eregani (population 52 684), Turkey.
There are 2 580 000 people living within 100 km (6.2 miles).
29 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 390 000 very strong, 1 248 000 strong and 2 061 000 moderate, according to the USGS.
Image credit: Google, TW/SAM
The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and orange alert was issued for economic losses. Significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Turkey. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and adobe block construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
Temperatures in the region dipped to -8 °C (17.6 °F) overnight.
According to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the quake lasted 40 seconds. At least 678 aftershocks have been felt in the region, with the strongest registered at M5.4.
Initial reports suggest 76 buildings were demolished, 42 damaged and 425 with minor damages.
At least 35 people have been killed, Turkey's vice president said on Sunday, January 26.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM