7.2 earthquake hits Turkey, more than a thousand feared dead

A man carries an injured girl after an earthquake in Tabanli village. REUTERS/Abdurrahman Antakyali/Anadolu Agency.

Turkey's Kandilli Observatory estimates that 1,000 or more people were killed today in a powerful earthquake in southeast Turkey's Van province.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told reporters some 10 buildings had collapsed in Van city and around 25-30 buildings collapsed in the nearby district of Ercis.

The USGS estimates the quake magnitude at 7.2, with a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles), 17 km (10 miles) NNE (32°) from the city of Van.

More immediate coverage: Reuters, AP, CNN.

Turkey's Hürriyet daily newspaper has coverage. For those interested in viewing local broadcasts, TRT-TV is the transmission to try and find via satellite or online re-streaming services.

More photos below.

Rescue workers try to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Tabanli village. REUTERS.

Rescue workers try to save survivors trapped under rubble. REUTERS/Ali Ihsan Ozturk

Survivors react following an earthquake in Tabanli village. REUTERS.


  1. I thank God my friends the Akcans are safe we just meet up on G+ for the first time in 23 years i have been looking for them for 17 years ,was so afraid that they were affected from this .

  2. Good luck Turkish folks: may many more survivors be rescued…

    Unreinforced masonry: it makes perfect sense…until it totally fails.  

    Fight!  And take care of one another…

  3. Speaking as a geologist with a research interest in plate tectonics, I will say that Turkey is one of the most fascinating and active parts of the world, tectonically-speaking. There are two major fault systems at play, of the two most interesting types (converging due to subduction, and strike-slip) – and both are doing very interesting things compared to other parts of the world that are similar.

    This occurred in the part of the country that’s converging with Africa. Convergence zones tend to produce most of the really big, devastating earthquakes (including the major tsunami-causing ones, the 2008 one in China, the 2010 Haiti one, the Northridge CA one, and many more). Yet people tend to be most familiar with strike-slip activity, since that’s what’s happening here in California. I think this might be a good opportunity for Maggie to write something about convergence zones! I know there was some discussion after the earthquake in Japan, but that conversation was hugely overshadowed by the tsunami and Fukushima.

  4. Is it just me, or does 2011 seem to be a really bad year for a lot more people than usual?

    As with anyone affected by natural disaster, I wish you all the best and hope you come through okay.

    1. Did you know that the Bible says we’d have a lot more earthquakes in the ‘end times’?

      It did/does.  I’m not trying to preach but I still think it’s an interesting statement of fact.

      A guy I know, Frank Dimora, has an interesting website called http://www.bibleprophecyman.com .  He
      tracks earthquakes too.  You might find some of the content interesting.  I do.


  5. I have an appreciation for the Turkish people from my brief time there so I my heart goes out to them.

    “Unreinforced masonry: it makes perfect sense…until it totally fails.”
    Sadly that is all many people in that part of the country can afford.  The alternative is what, a tin shack?  The real problem in Turkey has been fraudulent and substandard construction.  This came to the forefront after the 1999 earthquakes.

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