A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake has shocked wide parts of Turkey and Syria early Monday, destroying thousands of buildings and killing more than 2,700 people, with hundreds more believed to be trapped under the rubble. The epicenter of the pre-dawn earthquake was near Gaziantep, close to the Turkish-Syrian border. It was followed by a separate magnitude 7.5 earthquake about 100 kilometers north of the first one in the early afternoon.
Two of the strongest earthquakes in the region in more than 100 years, of 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude, occurred on Monday in southeastern Turkey. More than 2,700 deaths have been reported in Turkey and north-west Syria as the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:17 am near Gaziantep. At least 78 aftershocks have been reported followed by a second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude at 13:24 with the epicenter in Ekinozu.
Turkish officials say more than 1,650 people had been killed and more than 11,000 people have been injured. Syria reported more than 570 deaths in government-held areas, while rescue workers said at least 480 others died in rebel-controlled areas. Numbers of deaths and injured are expected to rise significantly, as many buildings collapsed with large numbers of people buried under the rubble. At least 2,800 buildings have reportedly collapsed in Turkey.
The Turkish government has issued a Level 4 alarm, calling for international assistance. AFAD (Turkish Disaster Management Authority), the Turkish Red Crescent and all other humanitarian organizations are mobilized with their search and rescue teams and emergency response units. United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) are being mobilized to Turkey.
The earthquakes also heavily impacted north-west Syria, a region where 4.1 million people depend on humanitarian assistance. At this time, Syrian communities are simultaneously hit with an on-going cholera outbreak and harsh winter events including heavy rain and snow over the weekend.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN and humanitarian partner organizations are monitoring the situation on the ground amidst information flow constraints due to chronic telecommunication disruptions and power shortages. Infrastructural damages are difficult to assess at this time and roads have been reportedly blocked in both Turkey and north-west Syria.
Humanitarian organizations have launched assessments and results are expected to follow in the coming days. The aid organizations have reported that their offices and warehouses have been damaged and hospitals are overwhelmed.
Donate now to help the victims of the Turkey-Syria Earthquakes
- UN Crisis Relief: Türkiye-Syria Earthquake Appeal
- World Food Programme (WFP): Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
- UNHCR: Türkiye-Syria Earthquake Emergency
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): Syria Earthquake
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): Türkiye Earthquake
- CARE International: Turkey Syria Earthquakes Fund
- Concern worldwide: Turkey-Syria Earthquake Emergency Appeal
- Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC): Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal