Natural Disasters

Deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria kills hundreds

Turkey is one of the world’s most active earthquake zones

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 06 February 2023

More than 300 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit at about 4:17am on February 6, at a depth of 17.9km. This is one of the most powerful quakes to hit the region in about a century.

Another fresh earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck Elbistan district in Kahramanmaraş Province in southern Turkey around 4:30pm with the death toll rising to 1,300.

The quake first struck in the town of Pazarcık, an hour north of Gaziantep, a key industrial city in southern Turkey. The town of Nurdağı, some 80 km (50 miles) south-west, was the epicentre of the second tremor.

The AFAD (Turkey’s emergency management ministry), declared at least 76 people dead and hundreds injured across seven of the country’s southern provinces adjacent to the border with northern Syria. The Syrian health ministry said at least 245 people were killed and hundreds wounded in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus.

Tremors were felt as far away as Lebanon, Greece, Israel and the island of Cyprus. The head of the Turkish Red Cross said it was mobilising resources for the region and urged people to evacuate damaged homes.

A famous mosque dating back to the 13th century partially collapsed in the province of Maltaya. In Syria, Idlib is one of the worst affected regions apart from being ravaged by a decade of civil war. The ‘White Helmets’ (Syrian Civil Defence) declared a state of emergency and urged the international community for help.

Turkey is one of the world’s most active earthquake zones with the last earthquake in January 2020 killing more than 40 people.

In the same year, a 7.0 magnitude quake hit the Aegean Sea killing more than 114 people. Experts are advising the government to tighten construction guidelines and check dams for any cracks that have developed.

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