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497 earthquakes hit North West Turkey in 3 days

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A total of 497 earthquakes, mostly minor ones, have stricken Turkey’s north-western province of Canakkale over the past three days local media reported on Wednesday.

This is forcing relief agencies to set up container shelters in the region.

The first wave of the tremors was recorded early Monday morning at Ayvacik district with a magnitude of 5.3, which left eight people with minor injuries, according to the Canakkale governor’s office.

Reports said that the aftershocks, however, damaged some 300 houses, forcing local residents to live in tents established by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority and the Turkish Red Crescent.

According to the reports, the quakes continued to rock the region on Wednesday, the two relief agencies decided to set up container shelters and move in the victims before sunset to better protect them from the cold weather.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Ozhaseki, Turkey’s environment and urbanisation minister cautioned that some 42 per cent of the country’s territory is on active fault lines.

“We need to act keeping this reality in mind,’’ Ozhaseki was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet daily. `

`We should build safe buildings on stable bases.’’

A total of 605 people were killed in November 2011, when a 7.2-magnitude tremor hit the eastern part of Turkey.

Another two powerful quakes, measuring 7.4 and 7.2 magnitudes respectively, claimed some 18,000 lives in Turkey in 1999.

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