Why did a Turkish city withstand the quake when others crumbled?
Many cities and villages of the region were built atop the layers of sand, silt and clay of an ancient riverbed. That soil, like the soft coastal ground beneath Iskenderun, was more susceptible to shaking, Mr. Emre said.
“These soft, water-laden sediments make cities and villages uniquely vulnerable to earthquakes,” he said. When one strikes, he added, “this land, it moves like a wave.”
In contrast, Erzin stands higher above sea level, and is built on hard ground comprising “bedrock and coarser grains than sand,” said Tamer Duman, a geographer.
The hard soil acts as a shock absorber between structures and a quake’s waves, reducing buildings’ sway, he said.
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