Two consecutive earthquakes in Georgia and Armenia have created panic among residents living in Turkey’s northeastern border provinces.
The first 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Shirak, an Armenian settlement on the border with Turkey, late on February 13, according to preliminary data from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center.
A few hours later, another earthquake with greater intensity was reported. The Seismic Monitoring Center of Ilya State University in Tbilisi said this time a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck southern regions of Georgia.
No casualties have been reported so far, but the string of earthquakes was felt in Turkey’s northeastern provinces, including Kars, Iğdır, Ardahan and Artvin, forcing most locals to stay outside their houses at night.
“Some 70 percent of the locals spent the night outside,” said Ömer Vargün, the mayor of Digor’s Dağpınar town located in the northeastern province of Kars.
While three adobe houses in a village in Arpaçay in the province were slightly damaged, a 14-year-old bo,y who jumped out of the window during the earthquake, sustained a minor hand injury.
The earthquake registered in Armenia on February 13 was the strongest after the 1988 Spitak earthquake, Head of the Regional Survey for Seismic Protection Sos Margaryan told a press conference today.
He said the 5.2 magnitude quake was followed by 165 aftershocks, the strongest of which had a magnitude of 3.
According to Margaryan, aftershocks are typical of such earthquakes. He reminded that in August 2021, an earthquake at the same epicenter was followed by 69 aftershocks within a day, with the number reaching 223 on the 40th day.
He said the Sunday earthquake on the Armenian-Georgian border is considered moderately strong, and could be followed by more aftershocks.
Magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit 16 km northeast of the village of Bavra near the Armenian-Georgian border on Sunday, February 13.
The quake was registered at 22:25 local time (18:25 Greenwich time) and was felt across Armenia.