PARIS : A combination of factors made the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria early on Monday, particularly deadly, including its timing, location, relatively quiet fault line and weak construction of collapsed buildings, experts said.
More than 2,300 people have been killed by the 7.8 magnitude quake near Turkey's Syrian border, with the toll expected to grow as aftershocks reverberate throughout the day.
The earthquake caused such destruction, partly because of its power -- it is the strongest earthquake to hit Turkey since 1939 and because it hit a populated region.
Another reason is that it occurred at 4.17 am, which means that sleeping people were trapped when their houses collapsed, according to Roger Musson, honorary research associate at the British Geological Survey.
The construction of buildings was not really adequate for an area that's susceptible to large earthquakes, according to the author of the book The Million Death Quake.
The fault line on which the earthquake hit has been relatively quiet recently, which could be attributed to the fact that the fault line has recently been relatively quiet.
Turkey is located in one of the world's most active earthquake zones. In 1999 a quake along the North Anatolian fault line in the northern Turkish region of Duzce killed more than 17,000 people.
Monday's earthquake occurred on the other side of the country, along the East Anatolian fault.
The East Anatolian fault has not had a magnitude 7 earthquake for over two centuries, which could mean people neglecting how dangerous it is, Musson said.
Musson theorised that quite a lot of energy could have been built up because it had been so long since the last big quake.
He added that the strength of the aftershocks on Monday, including a huge 7.5 magnitude tremor, supported this theory.