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Turkey’s Deadly 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Could Power New York City For More Than 4 Days, Seismologist Says

The energy released by the 7.8 magnitude quake on Monday morning was equal to around 32 petajoules, Januka Attanayake, a seismologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, told The New York Times.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The earthquake that has so far killed more than 5,000 people in Turkey and Syria was strong enough to power all of New York City for more than four days, a seismologist said.

The energy released by the 7.8 magnitude quake on Monday morning was equal to around 32 petajoules, Januka Attanayake, a seismologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, told The New York Times.

That amount of energy is enough to generate 8.88 million megawatts continuously for one hour.

It’s also equivalent to the energy released by nearly 8 million tons of TNT.

The Times noted that another seismologist, Renato Solidum, told the outlet in 2013 that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake created as much energy as 32 of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima.

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The local magnitude scale, also known as the Richter scale, is logarithmic, meaning each time the magnitude goes up by 1, the energy released by the earthquake is stronger by around 31.6 times.

So, when comparing a 7.8 magnitude earthquake to a 6.7 quake — like one that struck the same region in Turkey in January, 2020 — the former releases almost 45 times more energy.

Monday’s earthquake occurred on the East Anatolian Fault, where only three earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or larger have been registered in the region since 1970, per the United States Geological Survey, or USGS.

One of the region’s deadliest quakes happened in 1822, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake was said to have killed 200,000 people.

Survivors of Monday’s quake also had to contend with several unusually strong aftershocks, including a 6.7-magnitude tremor that struck just 11 minutes after the initial quake.

Another 7.5-magnitude aftershock hit the region around nine hours after the earthquake, though the shaking was significantly less severe because it happened deeper underground, per the USGS.

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