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Earthquake Expert from Turkey on Devastation in Turkey and Syria

Cal State Fullerton geologist turns disasters into directions
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Sinan Akçiz, assistant professor of geological sciences at Cal State Fullerton, turned his Introduction to Geology class on Monday into a real-life lesson about earthquakes and the devastation taking place in his native country, Turkey.

Akçiz, originally from Istanbul, is thankful that his friends and family are reported safe. Reflecting on the recent earthquakes, he shared, “it is hard to put aside one’s emotions, especially once the devastation happens where you were born. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming.”

The powerful earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria reinforced his resolve in preparedness.

According to Akçiz, “the East Anatolian Fault, where the main earthquake occurred, shares similarities to the faults in the San Andreas Fault system. This earthquake is yet another reminder to take these faults seriously and be prepared.”

He added, “at a minimum, people should store extra water to last for about a week. If you are a long-distance commuter like myself, make sure your family has a plan in case the earthquake happens when you are on campus or away from home.”

Shortly after the July 2019 earthquakes in Ridgecrest, California, Akçiz traveled to the Mojave Desert in southern California to conduct research captured in this story.