1939 Erzincan earthquake

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1939 Erzincan earthquake
1939 Erzincan earthquake is located in Turkey
1939 Erzincan earthquake
Date 26 December 1939 (1939-12-26)
Origin time 23:57 (UTC)
Magnitude 7.8 Ms
Epicenter 39°46′N 39°32′E / 39.77°N 39.53°E / 39.77; 39.53
Areas affected Turkey
Casualties 32,962

The 1939 Erzincan earthquake was a major natural disaster that hit Erzincan Province in eastern Turkey at 1:57 am (11:57 pm GMT) on 27 December. The earthquake of seven violent shocks, the biggest one measuring magnitude 7.8-8,[1][2] was the most powerful one to strike Turkey in recent history.

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 relief operation began. By January 5, about 33,000 had died due to the earthquakes and to blizzard conditions, followed by heavy rains that caused floods.[2] So extensive was the damage to Erzincan city that its old site was entirely abandoned and a new town was founded a little further to the north.

In the next few years there were three more 7+ magnitude quakes in the region.[1] Turkey soon adopted seismic building regulations. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Major Turkish Earthquakes of the 20th Century". Buffalo, NY: MCEER. 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Ranguelov, Boyko. "The Erzincan 1939 Earthquake" (PDF). Second Balkan Geophysical Conference and Exhibition. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Reitherman, Robert (2012). Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History. ASCE Publications. p. 226ff. ISBN 978-0-7844-1071-4. 

Osman Kubilay GÜL, 27 December 1939 Erzincan Earthquakes Effects of Sivas and Its Towns,http://www.diewelt-dertuerken.de/index.php/ZfWT/article/view/233/ok_gul