Moderate quake shakes northwest Turkey

ISTANBUL, Feb 14 (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale shook part of northwest Turkey on Monday, the NTV news channel said.

There were no immediate reports of any damage in the quake region, which was north of Bolu, midway between Ankara and Istanbul. Bolu and the surrounding area was hit by a strong earthquake on November 12 killing some 800 people.

A devastating earthquake hit an area to the west of Bolu on August 17 killing more than 17,500 people. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless by the quakes and are now sheltering in prefabricated houses and tents.

Hundreds of aftershocks have hit the region since then. Turkey's northwest is crossed with a seismic faultine running east-west from the south of Istanbul, through Bolu, north of the capital Ankara to Erzurum in the east.

Seismologists say it is nearly impossible to predict when another earthquake may strike, but agree the North Anatolian fault line appears to be going through a period of activity.

Inhabitants of Turkey's biggest city Istanbul fear a large quake centred on their sprawling metropolis would lead to huge casualties. The last quake to hit the city of 10 million directly was in 1894 and 1766 before that.


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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