Turkey and Syria Devastated by Deadly Earthquake 

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By Fabian Camacho 

On Feb. 6, 2023, southeast Turkey and northwest Syria were left in ruin following a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake. On top of the initial earthquake, there was a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, and several aftershocks in the coming days. Though Turkey is prone to earthquakes, none have been as powerful and deadly since 1939 when an earthquake of the same magnitude struck the country. The 2023 earthquake was so severe that state authorities have declared a Level 4 Emergency, which allows for international assistance. Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also declared the 10 affected provinces into a State of Emergency. Gaziantep, a Turkish city near the epicenter of the earthquake, is home to thousands of Syrian refugees as well as several humanitarian aid organizations. Syrian cities, Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Idlib, were also very heavily affected.  

    On Feb. 20, 2023, the region would once again experience nature’s terror in the form of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The earthquakes have left thousands of buildings destroyed and displaced over 2,000,000 people. The number of people hindered by non-fatal injuries is at least 115,000. Thousands of children have been orphaned and left without a home. Given the frigid cold of winter and destruction of property, several survivors are at risk of hypothermia and waterborne diseases. The death toll of these events are indeterminate but only rise by the day. Currently, it can be confirmed that over 50,000 people have lost their lives. This number includes at least 41,000 from Turkey, at least 5,800 from Syria, with any kind of remainder being aid workers. Nations around the world are helping in the ways that they can. The U.S. Agency for International Development pledged $85 million to help the people affected, and an additional $100 million would later be added. Mexico, having endured several severe earthquakes in recent years, has sent some search and rescue teams. Other countries such as Poland, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland have also sent their own search and rescue teams. There are several ways to support those who have been affected. There are many foundations that are accepting donations, such as the CDP. The earthquakes have left a nasty scar on this world, and it will be a while before it could begin to heal, but that does not mean we should give up hope. So long as there is love and support for those who need it, humanity will endure.