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Turkey-Syria Earthquake, Casualties and How to Help the Quake Victims?

The deadliest twin earthquake happened in Turkey on February 6, 2023, with multiple minor shocks. However, no definite casualties resulted due to these shocks. On February 20, 2023, Turkey and Syria faced another earthquake of 6.3 magnitudes. 


The 6 February earthquake in Turkey was the strongest after the 1939 Erzincan earthquake. Both earthquakes had devastating aftereffects and contrasting magnitudes. These two earthquakes are now ranked in the second place of the deadliest and strongest attacks in Turkey. Likewise, the first place goes to the 1668 North Angolia earthquake.


North Angolia earthquake is the strongest ever earthquake recorded in the Levant. Neighboring regions of the Levant, such as Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, and the Black Sea coast of Turkey saw the seismic shockwaves. 


Syria also has a history of having the most destructive and fearsome earthquakes. The 526 Antioch earthquake and the 1822 Aleppo earthquake razed life in Syria. The fifth deadliest earthquake was the 2010 Haiti earthquake in Syria. 


February 6 Turkey and Syria Earthquake and Casualties


On February 6, 2023, at 4:17 a.m. (local time), southeast Turkey faced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Syrian border. The initial quakes rocked at a depth of 11 miles (17.9km) close to Nurdagi in Gaziantep province. Nine hours later, another earthquake raked Kahramanmaras Province measuring 7.5 magnitudes.


According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), shockwaves numbering in thousands (approx. 2,100) have rumbled in the region. In this earthquake, nearly 41,000 people lost their lives. Infrastructure worth $84.1 billion was also damaged. 


The 12-year conflict in Syria and the refugee crisis made lives problematic and vulnerable. Before the natural disaster, 6.5 million people in Syria needed humanitarian aid due to the ongoing conflicts. 


World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 26 million people need assistance in both countries where the unprecedented earthquake occured. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has released a report claiming that the disaster affected 4.6 million children in Turkey and that of 2.5 million children in Syria. 


In the last two weeks, rescue forces had tried to locate the injured people caged under the debris of buildings. However, a huge winter storm hampered the rescuing efforts, dropping snow and plummeting temperatures in the catastrophe-struck areas. Many earthquake survivors lost their lives to hypothermia caused by freezing weather. 


Overall, there are 87,000 injuries and vandalism of 47,000 buildings


Location of February 6 Turkey and Syria Earthquake 


Turkey and Syria not only share the same borderline, but they also have an imitated relationship with each other. Turkey hosts 3.5 million refugees from Syria making Turkey the nation holding the most refugees. 




The ten provinces faced the rampant shockwaves in Turkey, some of them are;

  • Adana
  • Gaziantep
  • Hatay
  • Kahramanmaras
  • Malaria
  • Sanliurfa.


A significant portion of this area is a central hub for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They support Syrians through cross-border humanitarian projects. 




Syria is an Islamic country facing the clutches of chaos and destruction from all sides. More than 60 percent of Syrians are internally displaced and facing an ongoing cholera outbreak. Syrian people don’t have access to clean water and rely on humanitarian aid. 


Some of the Syrian cities that were hit by the quake;

  • Aleppo
  • Latakia
  • Hama
  • Idlib


Aleppo is a city ravaged by the civil war going on in Syria. It has been affected by the quake most. A total of 4 million people in Aleppo were already relying on humanitarian aid. Now, they have another disaster to cope with. 


6.3 Earthquake strikes Turkey and Syria on 20 February


After the twin earthquake, the third quake hit the Defne in Hatay province. The quake felt strongly in Antakya and Adana provinces. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkey faced another shockwave of 5.8 magnitudes three minutes later.


Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt felt the shockwaves as well, according to the Anadolu news agency. 


Syria’s State News Agency (SANA) reported that six people were injured as several buildings collapsed. As a result, 6 people were killed while 200 were wounded.


How to Help the Turkish and Syrian People?


Rescue and search teams are deployed in different areas to locate the survivors. According to Oktay, 3,294 search and rescue teams are working from 14 countries. European Union has started directing the rescuers through their satellite systems. 


Various countries (approximately 45) sent aid containing necessities of life to Turkey. The U.S. provided $85 million, while China donated $6 million. 


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched “immediate cash assistance” for funding affected areas. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is an organization that gives funds where humanitarian aid is in need. IRC is on the ground, assisting Turkey and Syria. 


Syrian American Medical Society, the White Helmets, and the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organization are providing healthcare facilities to the Syrian and Turkish. 


Various other charitable organizations are working for the betterment of life in Turkey and Syria like Oxfam, CARE, Human Appeal, and Action for Humanity. 


Those who want to help Turkey and Syria's earthquake-affected people, could donate to these organizations. 




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