Over 47,000 Dead After Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria


Photo Courtesy of NBC News

By Ethan Russ, Staff Writer

On February 6, two similar earthquakes occurred in Turkey near its border with Syria. The quakes were followed by many aftershock earthquakes that had a magnitude upward of five, with the most recent aftershock having a magnitude of 6.3.

The first major quake took place in Gaziantep, Turkey in the early morning on February 6, and had a magnitude of 7.8. The second happened in Ekinözü, Turkey a few hours after the first and had a magnitude of 7.5.

The deadly series of earthquakes has caused great destruction In both Turkey and Syria with destruction estimates between $50-84 billion, but there is no price that could be placed on the human cost of these quakes. With over 47,000 dead, over 114,000 injured non-fatally, and over 2.4 million people displaced, these earthquakes have had a widespread effect on many around the world.

Esad Aydiner, a junior at Wayne Hills who is of Turkish descent, said, “Even though my family is more on the West Coast, we had a lot of family friends on the East Coast and we’ve seen many people’s lives, and the lives of their families and kids ruined because of the earthquakes.”

Given the great impact that the Earthquakes have had, many organizations worldwide and even the Leo Club at Wayne Hills have chipped in to provide relief for the victims of the quakes. Together, everyone can come together in order to help the countries recover as best they can. This is a time of tragedy in Turkey and Syria so every act of selflessness toward those affected will go a long way. However, it is nice to see the widespread support for the victims.

Esad mentioned, “I think it’s [the relief’s] a really good thing. It just makes me happy that people all over the world are helping the country, not just because it’s Turkey and Syria, but because there was an earthquake and a lot of people died.”

Although these earthquakes were deadly, they weren’t the first of great magnitude in the area. Turkey has a long list of deadly earthquakes dating all the way back to the first century. Scientifically, the area is located at the meeting point of four tectonic plates: the Arabia Plate, the Eurasia Plate, the Anatolia Plate, and the Africa Plate. Based on the science and history of the area regarding deadly earthquakes, it is evident that there will be more earthquakes in the area’s not-too-distant future.

Esad observed, “It is still very possible that there might be another earthquake around that area because it is a scientifically unstable area, but what we could do is just build maybe a little bit stronger buildings, make the foundations stronger, but it’s basically more about just being ready and being cautious about it.”

Though not directly involved, the American Government is sending large amounts of relief overseas, with Secretary of State Blinken pledging $100 million more in direct aid to the two countries. Many living in areas directly affected by the earthquake have been left homeless, starving, and with few belongings. Despite this, there may be hope if everyone lends a helping hand. There is no doubt that the lives of many worldwide have been worsened, but the least that people unaffected can do is help those affected begin to move past this tragedy and move forward with many improvements to their currently ravaged hometowns.