Earthquake devastation

Nature has struck again, this time in the form of one of the biggest earthquakes in Turkey and Egypt. With more than five thousand deaths and still counting, the devastation is beyond imagination. A 7.8 Richter Scale earthquake struck early in the morning, killing thousands. This was not an ordinary quake, but a rare “strike-slip quake,” which happens when two tectonic plates slide past each other horizontally rather than moving up and down. In this case, one moved east and the other west, releasing massive amounts of energy-250 times that of the one that struck Italy in 2016. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Turkey. Most of the country is situated on the Anatolian Plate, which borders two major fault lines: the North Anatolian fault, which stretches across the country from West to East, and the East Anatolian fault, which is in Eastern Turkey. The Turkey earthquake was not a “mega thrust” quake of magnitude eight or greater; it occurred at a depth of only eleven miles, with the epicentre very close to the cities, and the result was disastrous. The reverse fault or thrust fault quakes are different in the sense that either of the tectonic plates pushes the other one upwards or downwards. The damage is unprecedented, compounded by cold nights and even civil war in Egypt, where some areas are controlled by rebels and bombarded frequently by Government forces. The sleeping public had no opportunity at all to react. The chaos followed as people tried to leave the earthquake-hit region, causing traffic jams and making it virtually impossible for rescuers to reach the affected area. Historic castles had also suffered extensive damage. The world has already rallied behind quake-ravaged Turkey and Egypt, providing every possible form of relief. India, for its part, has once again demonstrated magnanimity and taken on the responsibility of assisting those in need; our rescue team, along with relief supplies and dog squads, has arrived in Adana. India is leading the rescue work from the front.