On Monday, thousands of people were killed in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southeastern Turkey, and a significant aftershock followed, causing widespread destruction in both Turkey and Syria.
Let's talk about how big this historic disaster was to each other.
The official death toll was 2.3 thousand as of noon Turkey time, and it is increasing. The state and the media are unaware of the situation in rural areas. Information flow is limited due to the cut of the majority of mobile and fixed lines; however, there is currently little to no relief effort underway, even in some major cities like Malatya and Adiyaman. Again, based on accounts from witnesses, hundreds of victims are buried beneath the rubble, and relatives are pleading for assistance.
State hospitals have collapsed in several city centers. Four major cities have lost access to gas as a result of at least one NG main breaking. Transmission lines have been destroyed throughout the vast region affected by the twin massive earthquakes, rendering electricity virtually nonexistent. Fires are reported at the Iskenderun port. It has been determined that at least four regional airports are unfit for civilian flights. Sections of two major highways are broken up.
The quake occurred in the East Anatolian fault zone, a seismically active region that has previously experienced destructive earthquakes.
The fact that almost all of Turkey is extremely seismically active is nothing new for the nation.
In January 2020, Turkey experienced another major earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 that significantly damaged the country's eastern regions. Near Istanbul, in 1999, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake killed approximately 18,000 people.
Additionally, the quake struck close to densely populated areas. Near Gaziantep, Turkey's major city and the provincial capital, the epicenter was.
According to reports, there are numerous older high-rise buildings in this region of southern Turkey, whereas new buildings in cities like Istanbul were built with modern earthquake standards in mind. Researchers said that Syria's rapid construction and years of war may have also made buildings vulnerable.
Following the earthquake, thousands of buildings were said to have collapsed, according to officials. One of them was a phenomenon known as a "pancake collapse," in which the upper floors of a building fall directly onto the lower floors.
Freezing temperatures and traffic jams caused by residents trying to leave quake-stricken areas have hampered rescue efforts.
The tragedy has inspired Turkey's allies to stand by one another. Turkey has already received assistance and condolences from more than 45 nations. Many people in Ukraine, where people know what it's like to wake up to the screams of people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, have joined a campaign to get help for the people affected by the devastating earthquake. Political leaders have also said that they are ready to send a large number of rescue workers to Turkey to help with the crisis response. Turkey has been in our thoughts and prayers today.
With so much going on in the region, it's critical to make sure that the cost of human lives doesn't go down, that people's deaths don't become just numbers in the statistics, and that the lessons that need to be learned are learned. Additionally, there is a possibility that the devastating effects of the earthquake, which occurred just a few months before crucial elections, will be used for both internal and external information operations and political manipulations.
According to reports released on Monday, these devastating earthquakes have left at least 2,000 people dead and more than 8,000 injured, and those numbers are likely to rise. Sadly, Turkey has sophisticated emergency response mechanisms and experiences severe earthquakes. However, time-sensitive tasks like rescuing people trapped beneath damaged or collapsed buildings will require technical assistance from neighbors and allies. For this kind of work, Azerbaijan, Israel, a lot of European nations, and others have offered to quickly deploy teams. It is important to keep in mind that millions of Syrian refugees live in southern Turkey. European donors and the Turkish government can help Syrians who live in the affected area alongside Turkish neighbors, as well as in northern Syria, which has also seen a lot of destruction across the border.
The latest death toll from the massive earthquake has risen to 3,790, according to officials in Turkey and Syria.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority reports that 6,217 buildings collapsed in Turkey, resulting in at least 2,379 deaths and 14,483 injuries. From the rubble, approximately 7,840 people have been rescued.
According to the Syrian Health Ministry, there were at least 711 deaths and 1,431 injuries in affected areas in Syria.
The White Helmets claim that in the rebel-held areas of Syria, at least 700 people have died and another 2,000 have been injured.