1939 Erzincan earthquake

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1939 Erzincan earthquake
1939 Erzincan earthquake is located in Turkey
1939 Erzincan earthquake
UTC time 1939-12-26 23:57:23
ISC event 902291
Local date December 27, 1939 (1939-12-27)
Local time 1:57:23 a.m.
Magnitude 7.8 Mw [1]
Depth 20 km (12 mi) [1]
Epicenter 39°46′N 39°35′E / 39.77°N 39.58°E / 39.77; 39.58Coordinates: 39°46′N 39°35′E / 39.77°N 39.58°E / 39.77; 39.58 [1]
Fault North Anatolian Fault
Type Strike-slip
Areas affected Erzincan Province
Total damage $20 million [2]
Max. intensity XII (Extreme) [3]
Tsunami .53 m (1 ft 9 in) [2]
Casualties 32,700–32,968 dead [2]
100,000 injured [2]

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 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.

The first stage of the earthquake killed about 8,000 people. The next day, it was reported that the death toll 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.[4] So extensive was the damage to Erzincan city that its old site was entirely abandoned and a new settlement was founded a little further to the north.

In the next few years there were three more 7+ magnitude quakes in the region.[5] Turkey soon adopted seismic building regulations.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c ISC (2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre 
  2. ^ a b c d USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey 
  3. ^ National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS), Significant Earthquake Database, National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K 
  4. ^ Ranguelov, Boyko. "The Erzincan 1939 Earthquake" (PDF). Second Balkan Geophysical Conference and Exhibition. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Major Turkish Earthquakes of the 20th Century". Buffalo, NY: MCEER. 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Reitherman, R. (2012). Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History. American Society of Civil Engineers. pp. 226–228. ISBN 978-0-7844-1071-4. 

External links[edit]