The 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake

Posted by Karl Lundgren on

July 22, 1967 - an ordinary summer day in the tranquil town of Mudurnu, nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Bolu Province, Turkey. The sun painted the sky in hues of gold, and the air was filled with the gentle hum of everyday life. Children played in the streets, shopkeepers tended to their businesses, and elders exchanged stories in the shade of ancient buildings.

However, beneath this idyllic facade lurked a silent menace - a ticking time bomb that was about to alter the course of history for Mudurnu forever. Unbeknownst to its unsuspecting residents, the Earth's crust beneath their feet had been accumulating tension for centuries, and the North Anatolian Fault had chosen this moment to unleash its fury.

As the clock approached 7 PM, a subtle shift rippled through the ground, unnoticed by most. In the blink of an eye, the serenity shattered, and a deafening roar erupted from the depths of the Earth. The ground heaved violently, buildings swayed, and the world around them became a nightmarish chaos.

Panic spread like wildfire, and the people of Mudurnu found themselves trapped in a relentless dance with disaster. The homes and structures that once stood proudly now crumbled like sandcastles in a storm, burying dreams and lives beneath the debris. In that horrifying moment, centuries of history, culture, and cherished memories were brought to their knees.

This was the day the 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake unleashed its wrath upon the town, leaving a trail of devastation and heartache in its wake. As the dust settled and the cries for help pierced the air, Mudurnu faced a new reality - one that would test their strength, resilience, and the very essence of their community.

In this article, we delve into the harrowing events of that day and its aftermath. We honor the lives lost, the bravery of survivors, and the unwavering determination of the nation to rebuild from the ashes. Join us today, on the 56 year anniversary, as we remember the 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake, a day that shook the foundations of the town but couldn't break the spirit of its people.

1967 Mudurnu Earthquake

On July 22, 1967, the serene town of Mudurnu in Bolu Province, Turkey, experienced a devastating earthquake that left a lasting mark on its history. The 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.4, shook the region to its core, bringing destruction, loss of life, and an overwhelming sense of tragedy. In this blog article, we will delve into the events leading up to and following this seismic catastrophe, highlighting the resilience of the people of Mudurnu, the efforts of the nation, and the invaluable lessons learned from the disaster.

Geological Context

Mudurnu sits on the North Anatolian Fault, a major tectonic boundary between the Anatolian and Eurasian Plates. This fault is notorious for its frequent seismic activity, and the region has witnessed numerous earthquakes throughout history. The town's picturesque landscape and rich cultural heritage coexisted with the ever-present threat of earthquakes, creating an environment where preparedness was vital.

The Quake Strikes

On that fateful July day, at approximately 6:57 PM local time, the ground beneath Mudurnu began to tremble violently. The earthquake's epicenter was located just a few kilometers south of the town, amplifying the impact on its vulnerable structures. The shaking lasted for nearly a minute, causing widespread damage and panic among the residents.

The immediate aftermath was a scene of chaos and devastation. Buildings crumbled, trapping people under debris, while others fled to open spaces in search of safety. The lack of earthquake-resistant construction in the region exacerbated the damage, leading to a higher death toll and making rescue efforts challenging.

Casualties and Human Impact

The 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake resulted in approximately 86 fatalities and 332 injuries. The loss of lives was deeply felt by the close-knit community of Mudurnu, leaving an indelible scar on the collective memory of the town. Families lost loved ones, homes were reduced to rubble, and the town's infrastructure lay in ruins.

Government Response and Rebuilding Efforts

In the aftermath of the disaster, the Turkish government mobilized resources and assistance to aid Mudurnu's recovery. Emergency response teams, medical personnel, and supplies were rushed to the affected area to provide much-needed relief. The government also appealed for international aid, and humanitarian organizations from around the world lent a helping hand.

Rebuilding the town was a complex and arduous task. The earthquake highlighted the importance of implementing strict building codes and earthquake-resistant construction practices. As Mudurnu began to rise from the rubble, it did so with a renewed commitment to safety and resilience. The town's reconstruction provided an opportunity for architects and engineers to design and implement innovative seismic-resistant structures, setting a precedent for future developments in the region.

Long-Term Implications and Lessons Learned

The 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake left a lasting impact on the region, both socially and scientifically. It prompted a thorough reevaluation of Turkey's seismic preparedness and disaster response mechanisms. Engineers and geologists conducted extensive studies to better understand the tectonic processes at play and improve earthquake forecasting capabilities.

The tragedy also fostered a sense of solidarity and community among the people of Mudurnu. The survivors, through their collective strength, rebuilt their town and supported one another during the healing process. This spirit of resilience remains an enduring lesson in the face of adversity.

Moreover, the earthquake brought attention to the importance of public awareness and education regarding earthquake preparedness. Throughout Turkey, educational campaigns were launched to inform citizens about the proper safety measures to adopt before, during, and after an earthquake. These initiatives aimed to reduce the potential for loss of life and property in the event of future seismic events.


The 1967 Mudurnu Earthquake serves as a poignant reminder of the unpredictable power of nature and the importance of preparedness in earthquake-prone regions. The tragedy that struck this serene town brought about both immense loss and incredible resilience. It taught the world valuable lessons in earthquake engineering, community strength, and disaster response. As we remember the events of that day, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives, salute the courage of the survivors, and vow to continue striving for a safer, more resilient future.

So what can we do to get better prepared?


A kit is not a safety blanket you just purchase to make yourself feel better, it is an important investment in your household’s safety and preparedness. Not all emergency kits are created equal, and we highly recommend using the Province of BC and Government of Canada resources when building or buying a kit. We are also pleased to offer Earthquake Kits that developed to meet the government requirements for emergency preparedness. Visit our Gov BC Earthquake Kit product page to view the contents of our kits and feel free to use this as a guideline for assembling your own. What’s important to us is not that you buy a kit from us, but that every household have a kit at the ready in case something unexpected should occur.


The Province of BC and the Federal Government have made huge strides in this area in recent years implementing an Emergency Notifications network through mobile carriers and testing it to great success levels. This can provide seconds to even minutes of advanced notice prior to an earthquake being felt in any given location. However, a network of this complexity relies on strategically positioned censors along the coastline. We need to continue expanding this network of sensors and make sure that existing censors are being properly monitored and maintained.

We also need to expand from mobile phone notifications to physical alarms in homes, buildings, and especially schools/daycares.

For more details on how this Early Detection Grid works, please check out the following video by the CBC several years ago.


Know the Hazards

Knowing which hazards you need to plan for is the first step to getting prepared


Build Your Kits

Put together a household emergency kit and grab-and-go bag.


Make Your Plan

Plan how you will respond to a disaster to stay focused and safe.


Guides and Resources

Preparedness guides and community resources are available to help get ready for emergencies.


Evacuation and Recovery Resources

Learn what happens in evacuations, what financial assistance you might be eligible for and other recovery resources.


Education Programs and Toolkits

Create awareness about preparing for emergencies with Prepared BC's easy-to-use education programs and social media toolkits.

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