Earthquake in Turkey and Syria


Audrey Spohn, Author

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. The earthquake hit on February 6, 2023. The earthquake was Turkey’s strongest in over 80 years and is the world’s deadliest in over a decade. Infrastructure in the affected areas are already very unstable, and this earthquake as well as a powerful aftershock caused lots of destruction. The death toll right now is over 50,000 people and thousands more are injured. At least 6 people were pulled from the rubble recently, even though there were no survivors expected after a week. Right after this earthquake, another 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck on February 20, 2023. The new earthquake hit in the areas that were the most affected by the first earthquake on February 6, and there were around 6,000 aftershocks. At least 8 are dead and hundreds more are injured from this earthquake alone. 

Many refugees from Syria are leaving Turkey as their homes are destroyed. People from Syria came to Turkey due to an ongoing civil war in Syria, and are now forced to return back to the war as lots of shelters are given to people from Turkey before people from Syria. The civil war also makes it harder for rescuers to reach affected areas and distribute resources, as the government doesn’t control the area of Syria hit hardest by the earthquake. There is no guarantee that Turkey will let refugees from Syria back in once they have recovered from the earthquake. 

The U.N.’s World Food Program is distributing food to people in both Turkey and Syria and officials are telling people not to go back inside their damaged homes, and many tents have been set up, but it is hard to live in tents due to the cold weather, and some say that not enough tents are being distributed. People who don’t have tents are living in any sheltered area that they can find. A three-month state of emergency has been issued in 10 of Turkey’s regions, and international assistance has been required.