The earthquake in Turkey in 2011 occurred on October 23, 2011 1:41:21 PM the local time (10:41:21 UTC ), which had a magnitude of 7.2.  Its hypocenter was located 20 km inland and its epicenter was the town of Van in eastern Turkey.  The earthquake was even felt in Iran and Armenia as reported by citizens to the service of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS for short in English).  The Turkish experts said that the casualties could rise to more than one thousand due to poor standards of construction and the power of the earthquake in the region.


The earthquake occurred in inland tepiscoloyo reached a magnitude of 7.2 Richter scale on October 23 of 2011 , at 13:41 local time, its epicenter was about 16 miles north-northeast of Van, Turkey and with a depth focal estimated 20 km.  The areas most affected are the central region and much of eastern Turkey to the southern border of the eastern complex continental collision between the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian plate and the area of the Anatolian fault. All are part of the convergence between two plates is carried out along the fold Bitlis-Zagros. The mechanism of the earthquake and several aftershocks generated later.

Due to its high intensity and little depth, the earthquake caused significant ground motions over a wide area.  A violent shaking that reached grade IX in the Mercalli scale was in Van, were reported elsewhere intensities of strong to severe (VI-VIII Mercalli).  Replicas were observed in many smaller areas and less populated around the epicenter.

A little lighter, but still significant, were reported landslides that reached the Mercalli scale V and III.  The same intensity was extended far beyond the region, especially to neighboring countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. According to the Geophysical Institute of Israel, the earthquake was felt in areas far away as Tel Aviv, Israel .


The earthquake and its aftershocks affected much of eastern Turkey, demolishing hundreds of buildings and burying many victims under the rubble. Ercis, a small town near Van, was the most affected by the violent shaking, at least 25 buildings fuieron destroyed, the deaths amounted to 45 and 156 wounded.  In Van the death toll rose to 15 and dozens of buildings were destroyed.  Major damage occurred in the Van airport, where aircraft the air force moved in to move to other parts of the region


After the earthquake, damage reports flooded the network, at least 100 buildings collapsed after the main shock and then, about 500 collapsed because of aftershocks.  59 people were killed and 150 wounded in the eastern city of Ercis, 25 died in Van and a child died in the nearby province of Bitlis.

80 buildings collapsed in Ercis, including a student dormitory, and 10 buildings suffered the same fate in Van. Several hotels suffered major damage and explosions were reported at several stations.

Deaths and Injuries

Minutes after the earthquake, the Geological Survey of the United States issued a red alert for Turkey due to the shallowness of the quake, the magnitude of the movement and the region in which it occurred.  The USGS estimated that the death toll could be up to 10,000 people and more than 100,000 U.S. dollars.

Official data encrypted at 10:00 pm UTC, in 138 dead and 350 wounded and 600 missing and 500 collapsed buildings.

International Reactions

Israel : The Israel Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, offered aid to Turkey following the earthquake briefly leaving bad diplomatic relations between both countries.

United States : President Barack Obama expressed his condolences to quake victims and said the nation is ready to assist the Turkish authorities. Android app