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North-western Turkey, the county’s most densely populated region and industrial heartland, has been struck by two massive earthquakes in less than three months in 1999. The first, on 17 August 1999 at 03:02 local, measured 7.4 on the Richter scale and lasted 45 seconds. Izmit, an industrial city of than-1,2 million in western Turkey, was nearest the epicenter. The official death toll stands at 17,480, with some 44,000 people injured, nearly 300,000 homes either damaged or collapsed and more than 40,000 business premises similarly affected. On the day of the catastrophe, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and requested international assistance. The International Federation immediately launched an appeal, and many foreign rescue teams were deployed to help local rescue teams on ground.

The disaster was followed by more than 1,300 aftershocks, culminating in the second quake – which shook Düzce and Kaynasli in the north-western province of Bolu, some 100 kilometers (63 miles) to the east of Izmit for 30 seconds – at 18:57 on 12 November 1999 and rated 7.2 on the Richter scale. The jolt was felt both in Istanbul (some 260 km to the west) and Ankara, the nation’s capital, 300 km to the east.

Another big earthquake hit the city of Bingöl, Eastern part of Turkey, on 1st of May 2003, killing 176 people (mostly elementary school kids sleeping in their dormitory). The quake came at 03:27 local time lasting for about 17 seconds with a Richter scale of 6.4.

Then on 23rd of October 2011, a 7,2 magnitude earthquake hit the province of Van and its district Ercis in Eastern Anatolia at 13:41 local time, killing 644 people.

On 24th of January 2020, a 6,8 magnitude earthquake hit the provinces of Elazig and Malatya at 20:55 local time, killing 38 people and injuring over 1600.