On 6 February 2023, at 4:17 as TRT, a massive magnitude of 7.8 Earthquake in Turkey near the northern border of Syria. After that, the second earthquake occurred was a magnitude of 7.5. That earthquake occurred approximately nine hours later after the first. The earthquake was located around 59 miles (95 kilometers) to the southwest.
By 24th February 2023, over 6000 aftershocks were recorded by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). The first aftershock was a massive magnitude of 6.7 occurred about 11 minutes after the main earthquake, 25 more aftershocks magnitude of 4 or greater were recorded by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). The first earthquake of a Magnitude of 7.8 is massive since 1939. It’s created about 100km of fault line, causing severe damage in the region. Turkish President Erdogan declared a three months state of emergency in 10 of the country’s provinces.
What is Earthquake?
The earth’s crust is composed of a solid core, molten magma, and tectonic plates. Due to molten lava pressure, tectonic plates are constantly moving. This constant movement leads to either the plates sliding against each other. When the plates are moving the potential energy gets released this output is called Earthquake.
In geological terminology, the surface where they slip is called the fault or fault plane. The point on the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocentre, and the point directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter.
The concept of plate tectonics was formulated in the 1960s. Tectonic plates found in the ocean are called oceanic plates while those found in continents are continental plates.
Damage and casualties in Turkey
According to Wikipedia, there were near 47,000 death and 108,068 injured across Turkey’s 10 most affected provinces. At least 13.5 million people and 4 million buildings have been affected. About 345,000 apartments were devastated. Thousands were trapped under rubble when buildings collapsed. Many people remained missing in collapsed buildings. Some of those trapped under rubble live-streamed their pleas for help on social media.
By 24 February 2023, the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change conducted damage inspections for 1.25 million buildings; revealing 164,000 buildings were either destroyed or severely damaged. A further 150,000 commercial infrastructures were at least moderately damaged.
Damage and casualties in Syria
Nearly 7000 people were killed, and over 14,000 were injured in Syria. The Syrian Ministry of Health has recorded over 2,000 earthquake-related deaths and 2,950 injuries in government-held areas, most of which were in the provinces of Aleppo and Latakia. In rebel-held areas, nearly 4,500 people have died and 2,200 others have been injured. It was estimated that up to 5.37 million people across Syria might have been made homeless, while 10.9 million people, nearly half of the country’s population, were affected.
Impacts on Neighbouring Countries
The neighboring countries of Turkey and Syria were heavily affected by this massive earthquake. In Lebanon, residents were awakened from their sleep. Buildings in the country shook for up to 40 seconds. In Beirut, residents fled their homes and stayed in the streets or drove in their vehicles to flee from buildings. The earthquake damaged nearly 16,000 buildings across the country.
In Israel, a building was evacuated after cracks were observed in a pillar, and Champion Motors Tower in Bnei Brak was damaged by the second earthquake. Some windows in Nicosia, Cyprus, cracked, and a house wall collapsed, damaging two nearby vehicles.
Armenia, Egypt, Palestine, Georgia, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Russia all felt the tremors.
Losses in Turkey and Syria
According to a World Bank article, direct damages to residential buildings are $18 billion, non-residential buildings are $9.7 billion (e.g., health facilities, schools, government buildings, and private sector buildings), and infrastructure is $6.4 billion (e.g., roads, power, water supply).
The first earthquake of a Magnitude of 7.8 massive since 1939 in Turkey.
Over 6000 aftershocks were recorded by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Nearly 54,000 died and 122,000 were injured in Turkey and Syria.
Around $80 to $100 billion of heavy economic and infrastructural losses in Turkey and Syria.
The earthquake is not predictable.