It has been more than six weeks since two earthquakes killed over 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria. A further 100,000 were injured following the two powerful earthquakes, the fiftjh deadliest earthquake of the 21st century.
The first, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, struck in the early hours of 6th February near the city of Gaziantep, followed hours later by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit around 80 miles away in the Elbistan district. The earthquakes are estimated to have directly impacted 26 million people across Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria.
The focus has now shifted to providing essential support for survivors who have lost their homes, belongings, livelihoods and loved ones. Earthquakes are relatively common in the region due to its location on the boundary between the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, which creates significant seismic activity. Both Syria and Turkey are prone to earthquakes and have experienced devastating earthquakes in the past.
Here are some of the most notable earthquakes in the region:
November 2020: A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Samsat in south-eastern Turkey, causing some damage to buildings but no reported casualties.
December 2020: A 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Kerman in south-eastern Iran, causing some damage to buildings but no reported casualties.
October 2021: A 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck near the Syrian capital of Damascus, causing some damage to buildings but no reported casualties.
February 2023 : A 7.8 magnitude earthquake striking central turkey and northern and western Syria. In addition a A 6.4 magnitude earthquake striking Hatay causing more damage and killing three people. More than 850,000 children remain displaced in Turkey and Syria.
What is the situation in Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria now?
The earthquake has destroyed thousands of people’s homes in Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria, while hospitals, roads and bridges have been badly damaged. The impacts were so large that tremors were reported as far away as Cyprus, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.
Currently 3,000 people have been accommodated in temporary shelter and a further 380,000 in schools and education facilities.
Extensive damage has been reported across the region with buildings collapsing in cities whilst many remain unsafe. In response, governments and aid organizations have implemented measures to improve earthquake preparedness and response, including building codes, early warning systems, and disaster relief programs.
Whilst this may appear like something that has not directly affected you, there are many students, and staff at Chobham Academy who are Turkish/Syrian or have family and friends there. If you want to help and support, please visit:
Written and Edited by : Tasnima 12H4