Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria

Many are dead throughout Turkey and Syria due to the earthquake shaking them up.


Photo by The New York TImes

by Athena Freire, Student Writer

With Kahramanmaras’s district and many others in Turkey destroyed by yesterday’s earthquake, the death toll keeps rising by the day. According to officials, more than 41,200 people are dead and thousands have been injured across Turkey and Syria. Millions are waiting for humanitarian assistance in affected regions; there are many logistical issues, but rescue workers have been helping as best as they can.

There are catastrophic humanitarian needs in both Syria and Turkey and we need critical funds and lifesaving support for those affected before it is too late.

— International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The earthquake is the strongest to hit this region in more than 100 years with a magnitude of 7.8. It had a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9). The fault line is over 200 miles long, yet only impacted half of the East Anatolian line; this may result in an earthquake happening soon. Many countries have offered assistance, but there will be a great deal of recovery needed. The disaster is a sucker punch to a region dealing with below-freezing conditions which have complicated rescue efforts and warm housing for survivors. In addition to the weather, the region has also been suffering from a cholera outbreak. Although there have been diplomatic issues, Assad has allowed more aid in rebel land to be done.


Within the past week, there have been more than 100 aftershocks across the affected areas. The death toll in Turkey has skyrocketed to over 35,400, according to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. In Syria, the number is currently at 5,800 people. On Thursday, February 9th, the United Nations sent its first aid convoy into northwest Syria, which has many internally displaced people due to the catastrophe. The U.K. has sent a team of 76 rescue specialists and rescue dogs. The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has released a statement that his government is mobilizing resources to help. In Turkey, there are Syrian refugees and Turks needing help that are cut off from resources.  Road blockages and other hurdles have been hindering any form of aid or search parties. In the reachable areas, rescues are being sent across 10 provinces in Turkey. Turkish people from all over the country have been donating to centers. Istanbul has been receiving many donations. 


Photo by ABC7 News (Google Images) (AP)

Many countries have been reaching out to help, including the United States. The US Agency for International Development has released a statement explaining, “This new funding is supporting USAID’s humanitarian partners to deliver urgently-needed aid for millions of people in Türkiye and Syria.” The US has provided $85 million USD in humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian organizations will need around $400 million for the next three months in order to deal with the most pressing issues.

Photo by The Atlantic (Google Images)

This earthquake has been one of the deadliest in 20 years, as only 3% of earthquakes and tsunamis have killed over 1,000 people in recent history. There are still people under the rubble and there is much effort being put into finding them. Women, children, and men have been found hundreds of hours after the initial earthquake.


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