A powerful earthquake that struck southeast Turkey and northern Syria has left hundreds dead and several injured or missing. The devastating event took place on February 6 at 4.17am local time, and so far, the death toll across both countries has crossed 1,200.
Touching a whopping magnitude of 7.8, the earthquake was felt across Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and Palestine. According to the US Geological Survey, it originated in Gaziantep and ran 17.7km deep, and resulted in 20 aftershocks. Later in the day, another earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale also hit Cyprus at 11.23am local time.
In a statement, Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu shared that the earthquake had affected 10 cities, namely Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Diyarbakır and Kilis had all suffered damage. While Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdoğan shared that 912 people had been killed with 5,383 wounded, Syria’s state news agency reported that more than 320 people had died within the country, with close to 1,000 wounded. Within the rebel-held areas, the White Helmets reported 147 deaths and 340 injuries. Erdoğan also shared that this earthquake counts as the country’s biggest disaster since 1939’s Erzincan earthquake which killed 33,000 people, and has led to the destruction of 2,818 buildings. Among the many areas destroyed is Turkey’s historic landmark, the Gaziantep castle, which was built between the second and third centuries.
Really terrible videos coming out of southern Turkey and northeast Syria. The quake happened while millions in the region were sleeping. Videos show collapsed buildings. This is the scene in Şanlıurfa, where the governor says at least 10 are dead after 18 buildings collapsed. pic.twitter.com/WtyrJ2gn4Y
— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) February 6, 2023
Pictures and videos of the shocking occurrence have quickly taken over social media, with some of the most heartbreaking visuals showing homes that have now been reduced to rubble. Officials believe that several people are still stuck under the wreckage, and Erdoğan revealed that so far, 45 countries have offered assistance and relief, including Taiwan and the European Union. Currently:
– Despite also being affected by the earthquake, Lebanon has risen to the occasion with Prime Minister Najib Mikati working towards offering Turkey and Syria immediate emergency aid.
– Poland is currently preparing to send over a rescue group of 76 firemen and eight dogs.
– Russia has offered two IL-76 aircraft with 100 rescuers.
– India is prepping two teams from its disaster response force of 100 personnel, along with specially trained dog squads and equipment and medical teams.
– Spain is in process of flying over urban rescue teams to the worst affected areas.
– Taiwan will donate $200,000.
How to help earthquake victims across Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and more affected nations
If you too would like to play a role in helping those affected by the disaster, Vogue Arabia has compiled a list of websites to visit now and make donations that can save lives.
Ibc.org.tr: The International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC) is using donations to send affected areas essential items including ready-to-eat food, first aid kits, blankets and heaters.
Help.unicef.org: UNICEF is dedicating its efforts towards helping suffering families and children in northern Syria.
Launchgood.com: This campaign will collect funds until March 6, 2023.
Care.or.au: Care will be using its donations via its Global Emergency Fund to provide emergency relief and services to those who need them most. It is allowing visitors to donate both, online, and via telephone. Call 1800 020 046 toll free to pay by credit card.
Oxfam.org.uk: Make donations easily if you reside in the United Kingdom.
Timetohelp.enthuse.com: While the organization is not working in Turkey, it will forward all donations to international charities to ensure those in need receive all the support possible.
Molham.com: Founded by Syrian university students, Molham is currently raising donations at a strong pace.