Greek geologist expects a major earthquake to rock Istanbul: "The longer the delay, the worse it is for Hagia Sophia"

Byzantine hagia sophia Istanbul

A Greek geologist warned that a major earthquake in Istanbul is "late."

Seismologist Athanassios Ganas on ERTnews warned that a big earthquake is expected in Istanbul, reassured the public about the seismic activity in Kefalonia, and spoke of an upsurge that has seen 275 earthquakes since February 24 and has not yet calmed down.

“This is intense seismic activity (seismic series), which is not characterised by a large earthquake, but we have a genesis of hundreds of small earthquakes,” said Ganas, referring to the submarine area of Myrtos and the fault which is perpendicular to the Kefalonia fault and the boundary of the tectonic plate between Eurasia and Apulia.

The geologist and Research Director of the Geodynamic Institute reiterated there is no risk of this major fault being activated.

"Tsunami alarm sounded by mistake with the latest earthquake in Turkey."

The earthquake that was accompanied by a false tsunami alarm was in northwestern Turkey, and we are not worried, but for the fault that passes south of the Prigiponnisa and is very close to the coast of Istanbul, we are worried because the average recurrence period has passed.

The seismologist explained:

"From where the 1999 7.4 rupture in Nicomedia (Νικομήδεια, Turkish: İzmit) ended, this fault is known. We know when because there was an earthquake in 1766, and the previous one on this fault was in 1509.

"We are worried because the average recurrence period has passed by ten years. The fault cannot work as a clock with a countdown timer, but the longer it is delayed, the worse it is for Istanbul and Hagia Sophia.

"The maximum magnitude is expected to be 7.5 Richter. If this earthquake happens, we will soon have many dead and a lot of damage.

"If the fault ruptures, it will activate faults within the Marmara, which also have the potential for large earthquakes, which is why you see warnings of tsunamis."

On whether Greece will be affected, the seismologist replied, "There is no model that we can generally expect large earthquakes because there will be an Istanbul earthquake.”

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