Thousands Dead After Catastrophic Earthquake

Thousands Dead After Catastrophic Earthquake

( – Thousands of people are dead after massive earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria on Monday. Another quake followed as rescue workers struggled to save victims of the first two. It’s one of the worst seismic disasters in the region in a century.

Around 4 a.m. on February 6 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck southeastern Turkey, close to the Syrian border. For comparison, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that devastated much of San Francisco measured 6.9 — and because earthquake magnitudes are logarithmic, that means Monday’s quake was almost ten times as powerful. With such massive forces unleashed, it’s no surprise that the impact was massively destructive.

Tremors were detected as far away as Greenland; seismologists are already saying it was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Turkey, and the strongest anywhere since a quake in the South Atlantic in 2021.

Just to make matters worse, a second quake rocked the region on Monday afternoon, as rescuers worked in freezing temperatures to dig victims from the rubble of collapsed apartment blocks. A third, weaker one, measured at magnitude 5.6, hit early on Tuesday morning.

Rescue workers in both countries worked through Monday night in a search for survivors. By Tuesday morning at least 1,602 people in Syria were confirmed dead, with another 3,500 injured. Turkey was hit much harder, with the city of İskenderun suffering the worst damage.

Early Tuesday, UNICEF spokesman James Elder said the disaster could have killed thousands of children. The US Geological Survey warned there was a 20% chance over 10,000 people could have died at that time, mainly because buildings in the region are “extremely vulnerable” to earthquake damage. As of Wednesday morning, the death toll had surpassed the US Geological Survey’s estimation, sitting at over 11,000.

The US government has offered help, but with temperatures expected to hover around freezing, time is already running out.

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