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Source: The post is based on the article “India to send disaster relief teams to quake-hit Turkey” published in The Hindu on 7th February 2023.
What is the News?
The Prime Minister has declared that India will provide all possible assistance to Turkey to deal with the devastating earthquake that hit the country
India will send search and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) and medical professionals immediately.
What happened in Turkey?
A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria killing thousands and causing major structural and economic damage.
The initial earthquake was one of the largest strike-slip earthquakes to occur on a continent in recent times.
What caused the earthquake in Turkey?
The Earth’s crust is made up of separate bits, called plates, that nestle alongside each other.
These plates often try to move but are prevented by the friction of rubbing up against an adjoining one. But sometimes the pressure builds until one plate suddenly jerks across, causing the surface to move.
In Turkey’s case, it was the Arabian plate moving northwards and grinding against the Anatolian plate.
Friction from the plates has been responsible for very damaging earthquakes in the past.
For instance, in 1822 it caused an earthquake registering 7.4 in magnitude with around 7,000 deaths.
How are earthquakes measured?
They are measured on a scale called the Moment Magnitude Scale (Mw). This has replaced the better-known Richter scale, now considered outdated and less accurate.
The number attributed to an earthquake represents a combination of the distance the fault line has moved and the force that moved it.
A tremor of 2.5 or less usually cannot be felt but can be detected by instruments. Quakes of up to five are felt and cause minor damage. The Turkish earthquake at 7.8 is classified as major and usually causes serious damage as it has in this instance.
Anything above 8 causes catastrophic damage and can totally destroy communities at its centre.