Devastating Earthquake Hits Turkey and Syria

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This Monday at 4:17 in the morning, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Gaziantep, Turkey; The devastations spread to neighboring countries including Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. 60 aftershocks were recorded succeeding, and a second major quake of 7.5 magnitude hit at 1:24PM. 

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Image from: 128548916_turkey_quake_damage_2_quakes-2x-nc.png.webp

Although earthquakes cannot be predicted, it was known to be in the making because under Turkey, the Arabian plate is pushing the Anatolian plate westward at a rate of about 2 cm per year. As a result, Turkey has experienced four earthquakes termed the “world’s deadliest” in the last 50 years.

Calamitous news have announced a death toll of over 33,000 people – which may rise as authorities continue to search ruins and inaccessible sites. More than 5,700 buildings were destroyed. Thousands of people were left displaced and homeless, many separated from their families. 

International efforts have arrived in the affected countries in order to rescue and help victims. A Chinese earthquake rescue team, a Japanese team, and a British medical and rescue team are already working on site. In addition, two USAID teams and two Indian natural disaster response teams are on their way. The UAE announced they would set up a field hospital in Turkey and provide immediate relief to Syria’s most affected areas. Furthermore, many countries including Spain, Iraq, Germany, Qatar, and Canada have promised to help by sending teams and pledging funds.

Despite support from the international community, rescue efforts have been extremely arduous given the conditions in the area: the south of Turkey is wrapped in snow and undergoing a blizzard, while the north of Syria is enduring a civil war. As a response to this, the Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, has declared a 3-month state of emergency in the country’s southeast which will end right before the elections. The reason is said to ensure that rescue can be done efficiently and quickly in the most affected region, yet others believe it is a device that the president will use to remain in power given that the last state of emergency was left in place for 2 years.

It is a devastating situation that citizens are suffering due to an unpredictable phenomenon. If you would like to help but don’t know how, please refer to this previous article written here in The Stork:

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