Earthquake, Kocaeli, Turkey, 1999
The moment magnitude (M W ) 7.4 Kocaeli, Turkey, earthquake struck the Kocaeli province of northwestern Turkey on Tuesday, August 17, 1999, at 3:02 a.m. local time. The cause of the earthquake was the sudden breakage, or rupture, of the Earth’s crust along a western branch of the 1,500-km-long North Anatolian fault system. The total length of the fault rupture was about 110 km. The region hit by the earthquake is the industrial heartland and the most densely populated section of Turkey. According to official Turkish government estimates, the earthquake caused 17,127 deaths and 43,953 injuries, and displaced more than 250,000 people. Approximately 214,000 residential units and 30,500 business units were lightly to heavily damaged.