Turkish authorities said on Friday that more than 50,000 people were killed in the earthquake that hit both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border on February 6, Turkish authorities said on Friday.
In Turkey alone, the AFAD agency, responsible for actions in the face of crises and natural disasters, counted 44,218 dead. Syria reported 5,914 deaths.
Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
The epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on the night of February 5-6 was in the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras. Less than 12 hours later, several dozen kilometers to the north, there was a second quake with a magnitude of 7.7. Both phenomena were accompanied by a series of over 100 aftershocks.
The affected region of south-eastern Turkey and north-western Syria is seismically active and tremors are frequent. However, the latter is the most powerful cataclysm of this type in this region in recent times. In 1999, the earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, killed 17,000-18,000 people. Measurements showed that the quake had a magnitude of 7.6.
The deadliest earthquake in the history of seismic measurements was recorded in 1976 in the Chinese province of Tangshan. The official figures of the authorities spoke of 250,000 victims. They were probably greatly underestimated, because some sources gave the number of people killed as high as 650,000. The Tangshan disaster had an official magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale, although other measurements indicated as high as 8.2. The magnitude 9.5 was the strongest ever measured quake, in 1960, in Chile. More than 1,650 people died then.
The ground in Turkey’s Hatay province shook again on February 20. There was an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) reported. It was felt in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.
In Besnia, one of the Turkish cities affected by the cataclysm, the TVN24 crew – Paweł Łukasik and Tomasz Burdal – were present. See their reports:
Reports by Paweł Łukasik and Tomasz Burdal from Turkey
Main photo source: PAP/EPA