A verdant olive grove was cleaved into two during last week’s devastating earthquake in Turkey, creating a valley 984 feet long (about 300 meters) that now divides the area.
Remarkable footage of the split olive grove has emerged from Turkey’s south-east Altınozu district, which borders Syria, showing a jagged, sandy-colored, canyon-like chasm. The cleavage reaches over 130 feet deep (40 meters).
Its creation is another show of the devastating power of last Monday’s magnitude 7.8 quake, which killed tens of thousands of people in Syria and Turkey and destroyed entire city blocks.
Irfan Aksu, who lives in the neighborhood, told Turkish news agency Demioren News Agency that when the earthquake started last Monday it created “an incredible sound” where he lived.
“It was like a battlefield when we woke up,” he said.
He implored for experts to inspect the area for possible future damage. “This is not a small town, there are 1000 houses, and 7000 thousand people live here,” he said. “Of course, we are scared… if it was a little closer, it would have happened in the middle of our town.”
Last Monday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit anywhere in the world since an 8.1 magnitude quake struck a region near the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean in 2021, though the remote location of that incident resulted in little damage.
Turkey is no stranger to strong earthquakes, as it is situated along tectonic plate boundaries. Seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck the country in the past 25 years – but last Monday’s was its most deadly.
A number of factors have contributed to making this earthquake so lethal. One of them is the time of day it occurred. With the quake hitting early in the morning, many people were in their beds when it happened, and are now trapped under the rubble of their homes.