1939 Erzincan earthquake
|UTC time||1939-12-26 23:57:23|
|Local date||December 27, 1939|
|Local time||1:57:23 a.m.|
|Magnitude||7.8 Mw |
|Depth||20 km (12 mi) |
|Fault||North Anatolian Fault|
|Areas affected||Erzincan Province |
|Max. intensity||XII (Extreme) |
|Tsunami||.53 m (1 ft 9 in) |
|Casualties||32,700–32,968 dead  |
100,000 injured 
The 1939 Erzincan earthquake struck eastern Turkey at 1:57:23 a.m. on 27 December local time with a moment magnitude of 7.8 Mw and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XII (Extreme). This was one of the largest in a sequence of violent shocks to affect Turkey along the North Anatolian Fault between 1939 and 1999. Surface rupturing, with an horizontal displacement of up to 3.7 meters, occurred in a 360 km long segment of the North Anatolian Fault Zone. The earthquake was the most severe natural loss of life in Turkey in the 20th century, with 32,968 dead, and some 100,000 injured.
The North Anatolian Fault in Asia Minor is a major transform fault boundary where the Eurasian Plate slides past the smaller Anatolian Microplate. Running for over 1,600 km, the fault stretches from Eastern Turkey to the Sea of Marmara. The North Anatolian fault has been, and remains very active. Erzincan has been destroyed by earthquakes at least 11 times since 1,000 AD. Between 1942 and 1967, there were six major earthquakes along the same fault, with three above 7 Mw.
With an epicenter near the city of Erzincan, the earthquake rupture propagated westwards for a length of 400 km. Surface ruptures are still visible to this day. The shaking lasted for 52 seconds.[better source needed] It resulted in a tsunami with heights of 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) that hit the Black sea coast.
The earthquake seriously damaged some 116,720 buildings. Occurring in winter, it was difficult for aid to reach the affected areas.
Initially, the death toll was about 8,000 people. The next day, it was reported that it had risen to 20,000. An emergency rescue operation began. By January 5, almost 33,000 had died due to the earthquakes and to blizzard conditions, followed by heavy rains that caused floods.
The total destruction of the earthquake prompted Turkey to adopt seismic building regulations. So extensive was the damage to the city of Erzincan that its old site was entirely abandoned and a new settlement was founded a little further to the north.
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