SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018
M6.7 Bodrum Turkey Earthquake
7/21/2017 11:00:00 AM
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First Posting 7/21/2017 11:00:00 AM 
Posting Date: 7/21/2017 11:00:00 AM

An M6.7 earthquake struck 10.3 km south-southeast of Bodrum, Turkey, in the Aegean Sea on July, 20, 2017, at 22:31 UTC, impacting Bodrum, Turkey, and the Greek island of Kos, both of which attract many tourists this time of year. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the depth at 10.0 km, and officials recorded at least 20 aftershocks.

shakemap bodrum.jpg

ShakeMap of the earthquake that struck 10.3 km south-southeast of Bodrum, Greece, on July 20, 2017. (Source: USGS)

Regional Tectonics

The Mediterranean is a seismically active region, and Turkey and Greece sit on significant fault lines. Turkey’s western Aegean coast has already experienced several temblors of up to M5.5 this year and an M6.3 Plomarion, Greece, earthquake that struck on June 12, impacting the islands of Lesbos and Chios, with shaking felt in some coastal provinces of Turkey.  Small earthquakes are an almost daily occurrence in both countries. Today’s earthquake occurred in the Aegean Sea in the western part of the Anatolia microplate. The westward movement of this relatively rigid plate in response to the collision of the Arabian and Eurasia plates in the east and the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust under the Hellenic arc in eastern Greece is responsible for much of the frequent seismic activity in Turkey and Greece.

These complex geodynamics have contributed to widespread extension and active faulting in western Turkey and the Aegean Sea.  Many recent earthquakes in Greece and western Turkey, including the 1999 Athens earthquake that caused more than 140 deaths and billions in losses, is due to this tectonic extension process. Today’s earthquake is also a normal faulting event, which is consistent with the regional tectonics.

Reported Damage

There are reports of extensive damage to older buildings on the Greek island of Kos, some of which are more than one hundred years old; roofs and facades of building have collapsed, and one building has collapsed. There has been heavy flooding caused by a half-meter tsunami. Coastal towns in Turkey have reported broken water mains, gas leaks, and downed power lines. Some roads have been blocked by debris in Kos, where two have been killed and more than 120 have been injured.

Greek Government representative Dimitris Tzanakopoulos reported that Kos Island’s infrastructure is in good shape, except for the island’s port area. Expert officials are expected to visit the port area later today and assess the damage and timeline of the port’s subsequent rehabilitation.


Exposure at Risk

The epicenter of this earthquake was offshore from popular tourist destinations. However, structures in this region are generally vulnerable to earthquake shaking; buildings of reinforced concrete and reinforced/confined masonry construction are the most common in the area, and are typically low- or mid-rise. Some recent earthquakes have resulted in secondary hazards, such as landslides, which can contribute to losses.


M6.7 Bodrum Turkey Earthquake
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