BLACKSBURG, Va. – While the death toll rises in Turkey and Syria, a local natural hazards expert shares more about why this earthquake was so deadly.
Virginia Tech Professor Robert Weiss teaches in the College of Science’s Department of Geosciences.
Weiss said there’s a couple reasons why the impact of Monday’s earthquake was so large.
He said because it occurred at night, many people were inside sleeping in buildings that collapsed. Additionally, some of the buildings were not made to withstand the strong force, resulting in more devastation.
“There’s obviously a loss of life which is really hard to comprehend at this stage,” Weiss said. “There’s still the rescue operations that are in full swing, and they’re still finding out how many people indeed died.”
Weiss said the earthquake was not a surprise, because it occurred in a zone where very large earthquakes occur often — an area where two plates push against each other.