7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Turkey, Kills 5,000

“Like the apocalypse.”

  • A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.
  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the initial earthquake was followed by a 6.7 magnitude aftershock 11 minutes later and another 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
  • USGS noted that there have been about 30 aftershocks with a magnitude of 4.5 or greater.
  • Fox News reported that the earthquake was centered about 60 miles from the Syrian border and could be felt as far as Cairo.
  • Hundreds of buildings are now rubble and 5,000 people are dead.
  • Thousands more are injured and an unknown amount of people are trapped beneath the rubble.
  • A Syrian man from Atareb, Abdul Salam al-Mahmoud, said the experience “was like the apocalypse.” He added that it is “bitterly cold and there’s heavy rain, and people need saving.”
  • The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Senior Emergency Officer for Europe Catherine Smallwood expects the death toll to increase, saying, “We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows.”
  • Dozens of countries have offered to aid Turkey.
  • British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “The UK stands ready to help in whatever way we can.”
  • London is reportedly in contact with the United Nations about support for Syria.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, “Full solidarity with our Ally #Türkiye in the aftermath of this terrible earthquake. I am in touch with President @RTErdogan and Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu, and #NATO Allies are mobilizing support now.”
  • U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the United States is “ready to provide any and all needed assistance” to Turkey.
  • Israel, Ukraine, Russia, India, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and other countries are also readying themselves to provide aid.
  • An estimated 5.9 earthquake killed at least 1,000 in Afghanistan in June 2022.
  • A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Japan in March 2022, derailing a 200mph bullet train and shaking a nuclear plant.