HOPEDALE, Ill. (WCIA) — Although their epicenters were thousands of miles away from central Illinois, the pair of earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria overnight were detected by seismograms in the region. While they were registering the second earthquake, the seismograms also detected a third earthquake, this one originating from Buffalo, N.Y.
Bob Bauer, an engineering geologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey, said earthquake signals from the other side of the world can travel through the planet and along its surface, making it possible to detect seismic activity from afar. Illinois may not experience the damage and destruction that the immediate area of the epicenter will suffer, but seismograms in the state can still detect the signals.
A seismogram in Hopedale, Ill., located southeast of Peoria, was among those to detect the signals coming from Turkey. The first earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter Scale, was detected at 7:35 p.m. local time. The second, measuring a magnitude of 7.5, was detected at 4:24 a.m.
Bauer said the signals are stretched out over a long period of time on the seismogram because of the time it took for the earthquake’s signals to reach Hopedale.
As the Hopedale seismogram was registering the second earthquake from Turkey, it detected the magnitude 3.8 earthquake that rattled Buffalo early Monday morning. Those signals reached Hopedale around 5:15 a.m.
A summary of the Turkey earthquakes written by the United States Geological Survey said that the region hit by Monday’s earthquakes is seismically active; three earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or larger have occurred within 250 kilometers of the epicenter since 1970, the largest of which was a 6.4 earthquake that occurred three years ago. However, larger earthquakes have occurred in the past, with the Syrian city of Aleppo being devastated by 7.1 and 7.2 earthquakes in 1138 and 1822, respectively. The latter earthquake is estimated to have killed 20,000 to 60,000 people.