Scientists have warned that an earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater is due to hit Istanbul. Current forecasts warned that the epicentre of the earthquake on the North Anatolian Fault Zone could be below the gates of the city.
This could prove devastating for the Turkish city which has more than 15 million inhabitants and thousands of tourists. Scientists have warned that the city may only have seconds warning to prepare for the tremors.
According to dailymail, research led by Marco Bohnhoff from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience suggests the next major earthquake is more likely to originate in Istanbul’s eastern Marmara Sea.
The offshore Marmara fault where a major earthquake is overdue is indicated by the red line. The yellow stars mark the repeating earthquakes found in the study which indicates fault creep (green rectangle) while the fault portion offshore of Istanbul (blue rectangle) is locked.
The UN estimates an earthquake between 7.5 magnitude (most probable) and 7.7 (worst case scenario) would kill between 70,000 – 90,000 people.
They estimate the damage to cost $40 billion (£30.1 billion) with around 500,000 to 600,000 people make homeless.
The extent of such seismic threat to Istanbul depends on how strongly the plates are entangled and where the earthquake strikes.