Turkey-Syria Earthquake

Kevin Yang, Staff Writer

A devastating earthquake has left little hope for rescue operations.  

An average earthquake of 2.5 – 5.4 magnitude happens around 500,000 times a year. Earthquakes in this range cause minimal damage and deaths are usually kept to a minimum. However, the Kahramanmaras earthquake in Turkey and Syria was measured at a devastating 7.8 magnitude. Earthquakes on the scale of the Kahramanmaras occur around ten times a year, and the damages are massive.

The Kahramanmaras earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and Western Syria on February 6th. The earthquake struck at around 4:00 A.M. and more than 20,000 people have already died, with the death toll expected to continue rising. Thousands of people are trapped in the rubble that remains after the earthquake and freezing weather conditions are hindering the search effort to rescue more survivors. The thousands of buildings which have collapsed makes searching for survivors trapped in rubble difficult for the rescuers. However, many foreign countries have sent in aid and an estimate of 140,000 rescuers are currently dispersed through Turkey to help with the search efforts. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that those who have lost their homes will receive 5,000 Turkish Lira ($265.50) per month in aid and those who lost a rental will receive 2,000 Turkish Lira ($106.20) per month. Even with the thousands rescued in Turkey so far, the death toll is expected to continue rising while freezing temperatures are crushing the hopes of the search effort. 

The arrival of supplies and helpers in Syria have been complicated because of the ongoing Civil War between the Syrian government and rebel forces. Due to the war, the Syrian government is reluctant to send aid to rebel territory and many rebels have died as a result. After 108 hours of searching, the search and rescue operations in Syria have come to an end as of February 10th. The reasoning was because they did not believe there were any survivors under the rubble after 108 hours.

The deadly earthquake has left millions of people homeless in Turkey and Syria. Thousands of families have lost loved ones and the rescue operations are gradually ending after more than 100 hours of searching. The earthquake may cost Turkey 84 billion dollars to recover from excluding the aid the people who have lost homes and family will need.