Why was the Turkey earthquake 2023 so devastating?

Turkey earthquake 2023 4

This is the strongest Turkey earthquake 2023 that has suffered in nearly 100 years.

At 4:17 am on February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey, near the Syrian border.

Early in the afternoon, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5, almost as strong as the first, shook the Ekinözü district of Kahramanmaraş province, Turkey.

According to geologists, usually after a main earthquake, there will be aftershocks of lower intensity, but having two earthquakes with magnitudes above 7 magnitudes only a few hours apart is extremely difficult.

By the evening of February 6 (21:30 pm local time), about 30 aftershocks with a magnitude of 4.5 or higher were recorded in many cities of this country.

So far, at least 5,021 people have died in Turkey and Syria due to earthquakes. Which, Turkey recorded 3,419 deaths, while Syria reported an increase of 1,602. In Turkey alone, about 11,000 houses were destroyed.

Turkey earthquake 2023

Why did the Turkey earthquake 2023 cause so much damage?

Unstable geology and plate tectonics

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), since 1970, Turkey has suffered three earthquakes of magnitude 6 or higher.

The first earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 occurred on August 13, 1822, and the second with a magnitude of 7.2 in 1999, killed more than 10,000 people. And the third event taking place in 2020 has a magnitude of 6.7 Richter.

This is a country with most of the area lying on the Anatolian Plate with two fault chains: North Anatolia (nearly 1,500km long) and East Anatolian fault.

This area is considered the largest seismic site in the world. Because the Anatolian Plate is sandwiched in between other tectonic plates including the Arabian Plate, the Eurasian Plate, and the African Plate.

Turkey earthquake 2023

The map shows the tectonic configuration, with the Arabian plate shifting northward and pushing the Anatolian plate, while the Eurasian plate impedes any northward shift, causing tension to build up at faults 

Geologists say the Arabian plate has been accumulating thrust and shifting northwards for hundreds of years, while the Eurasian plate is hindering any northward shift.

During the movement of the tectonic plates, they can get stuck together at the faults, creating tension that accumulates, when the pressure is too much, they will suddenly slide across each other, creating battles and earthquakes.

Most Turkey earthquakes occur on the North Anatolian Fault, which borders the Eurasian Plate.

In addition, when a large earthquake occurs, it can destabilize other areas of previously blocked geological faults, which is the cause of new tremors later.

Weak infrastructure

Although an earthquake of this magnitude is rare in the world, it often occurs at the edges of geological plates.

In 1975, in Hawaii, there was an earthquake of a similar magnitude in Turkey, but it did not cause too much damage to people and infrastructure.

The Turkey earthquake 2023 occurred in a densely populated area. Not to mention it happened at 4:17 a.m, which means that people who are sleeping will be easily trapped and not able to get out when their house collapses.

According to experts, the consequences of an earthquake arise not only from its magnitude. Old buildings in Turkey have a design that can hardly withstand shocks from the ground.

“The buildings in the area affected by the Turkey earthquake 2023 are unlike cities with modern infrastructure in the world, where it responds,” explains Kishor Jaiswal, USGS scientist. design standards to withstand an earthquake such as a system of sturdy concrete pillars that can absorb seismic vibrations”.

Currently, many countries and humanitarian organizations around the world have pledged aid such as food, health care, and finance to Turkey and Syria.

Notably, Syria is facing a shortage of doctors and medical resources as some parts of the country are under rebel control.

 Syria – Turkey earthquake 2023 and haunting numbers

The number of people killed and injured has not stopped while rescue efforts after terrible Turkey earthquake 2023 earthquake disaster on February 6.

  • 7,926

The number of people killed after the Syria – Turkey earthquake 2023 has been recorded as of the morning of February 8, according to The Guardian.

In Syria, the Civil Defense said the death toll in rebel-held areas in the northwest of the country had risen to 1,220, while the number of wounded had surpassed 2,600. The death toll and the injured are expected to rise dramatically as hundreds of families are still trapped under the rubble. In areas controlled by the Syrian government, at least 812 people were killed, state news agency SANA reported.

In Turkey, Vice President Fuat Oktay said the earthquake had left at least 5,894 people dead and 34,810 injured. More than 8,000 people have been pulled from the rubble so far, he said, and about 380,000 people are taking shelter in shelters or government-designated accommodations. Many others are in shopping malls, stadiums, and mosques.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a disaster zone for 10 provinces affected by the devastating earthquake, imposing a state of emergency in the region for three months, according to CNN.

  • 11,342

The number of reports of collapsed buildings after the Turkey earthquake 2023, of which the Disaster Management Authority of Turkey has confirmed 5,775 reports.

  • 24,400

The number of search and rescue personnel deployed by Turkey earthquake 2023 affected areas. Turkish disaster management agency official Orhan Tatar said the number of staff is expected to continue to increase, according to The Guardian.

The United Nations said nearly 70 percent of Syria’s population needed humanitarian assistance before the earthquake, and the situation worsened after the tragedy. The United Nations and its partners say they are currently focusing on supporting immediate needs, including food, shelter, and medicine.

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let’s join hands for the Turkey earthquake 2023.


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Syria and Turkey earthquake 2023 have not only caused a lot of material damage but also the lives of many people. According to current information Happyinktee has shared, Syria is facing a shortage of doctors and medical resources as some parts of the country are under the control of rebels.

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