Quakes continue to plague Turkey’s western provinces

May 04, 2012, Friday/ 17:53:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A series of moderate earthquakes struck the western provinces of Kütahya and Çanakkale on Friday following a tremor with a magnitude of 5.0 that hit İzmir on Tuesday.

The northwestern province of Çanakkale was shaken by a moderate earthquake early on Friday. The magnitude 4.3 quake struck at 8:38 a.m. Boğaziçi University’s Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute said the epicenter was in the district of Lapseki at a depth of 11.3 kilometers. No property damage or injuries were reported. Kütahya has also been hit by two moderate temblors and a series of aftershocks over the past two days.

A tremor with a magnitude of 5.1 took place on Thursday at 6:20 p.m. in the district of Hisarcık, the Kandilli Observatory said. The quake was also felt in neighboring districts including Simav. No injuries were reported, but the tremor caused panic among Kütahya residents, who spilled out into the streets and spent the night outside for fear their apartment buildingss would collapse. Kütahya was shaken by another earthquake on Friday with its epicenter in the district of Simav. The quake, which measured 4.7, took place at 12:45 a.m. at a depth of 11 kilometers. The quake could be felt in the neighboring districts of Emet, Hisarcık, Şaphane, Gediz and Pazarlar. Most Simav residents were outside when the earthquake struck as they were too frightened to return to homes in the aftermath of the Hisarcık quake.

Simav Mayor Kasım Karahan said there were no fatalities or property damage, the Cihan news agency reported. Residents spent the night outdoors in parks, cars and tents. “I was caught by the earthquake while I was working at my workshop. People began running around in panic when it struck. Ten minutes later, I went home to check my family, who was very scared,” Levent Özden, a Simav resident, said in comments to Cihan. “We have become accustomed to living with earthquakes,” Özden added. Moderate aftershocks continue to rock quake-hit Simav. According to the Kandilli Observatory, the district was shaken by 122 aftershocks recorded at magnitudes between 2.0 and 4.7, within 15 hours of the 5.1 quake in Hisarcık. On May 19 of last year, yet another earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.9, shook Simav, killing at least two people and injuring over 120. Some of the injured were hurt when jumping from balconies and windows and others suffered from heart attacks or panic-related shock.

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