5.4 quake off southern Turkey felt in Cyprus and Lebanon

1 min read

An earthquake of magnitude 5.4 off the coast of Turkey on Saturday afternoon was felt some 130km away in Cyprus, with some reports saying it was also sensed as far as Lebanon and Syria.

The Cyprus Geological Survey said that the earthquake, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, occurred at 2.44pm some 130km north of the coastal town of Polis Chrysochous and at a depth of 50km.

It said that the tremor “was felt throughout Cyprus.”

The quake, with an epicentre off the coast of the popular tourist resort of Antalya, did not cause casualties or damage to buildings, according to Turkish officials.

On Thursday, a magnitude 5 earthquake struck Turkey’s southeastern city of Siirt, while the Cyprus Geological Survey has been recording a number of tremors from its Polis monitoring station ranging from 2.2 to 3.2 on the Richter scale in the same region during the past two weeks.

These started with a magnitude of 2.2 some 97km north of Polis on November 20, then a 3.2 about 412km west on November 25, followed by a 2.3 some 194 km north west on November 26, a 2.3 at 72km north on November 29 and a magnitude 2.7 about 193km north west on November 30.

Saturday’s activity brought back memories of the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey’s western coast and the city of Izmir, as well as parts of Greece on October 30.

The death toll in Turkey reached 114 as rescuers in Izmir were still searching for survivors a week after the tremor, while two teenagers died on the Greek island of Samos, south of the epicentre of the earthquake.

The US Geological Survey registered the quake’s magnitude at 7.0, while other agencies recorded it as less severe. Some 1,700 aftershocks followed, 45 of which were greater than 4.0 magnitude.

Turkey sits on top of two major fault lines and earthquakes are frequent.