On October 30, 2020, there was a devastating magnitude 7.0 offshore earthquake between Samos Island (Greece) and Izmir (Turkey) . Initial rupture happened between 11- 21 km below the surface of the Earth, and the quake left 118 deaths and multiple collapsed and damaged buildings behind.
Earthquakes are a consequence of the motions of the planet’s tectonic plates. When tectonic plates move around, they interact with others and when two large land masses interact, it results in deformation on both plates. Sometimes this deformation concentrates on the edges, and sometimes it is accompanied by internal deformation of the plates. Ultimately, this deformation generally manifests itself in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanism.
The Aegean Region (Eastern Greece and Western Turkey) is one of the most historically rich areas around the world. The area has numerous ancient cities and archeological sites, most of which date back over hundreds of years. In Greek mythology, the area was said to be frequently visited by Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. Geologically, this region is one of the most active areas of tectonic movement on the planet, which has resulted in numerous ancient cities being destroyed by earthquakes. Despite this, Aegean civilizations have consistently repaired the damage and continued living there. One cannot keep oneself from wondering; Why not find a better place with fewer earthquakes? The answer might have something to do with nice beaches and good wine, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.