Turkey and Syria Earthquake




Guest Writer

On the morning of Monday, February 6th, a devastating 7.8 earthquake occurred along the Turkish-Syrian border, namely in the Turkish region of Southeast Anatolia.

At approximately four in the morning, residents of the Gaziantep province felt the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that quickly destroyed roughly 2,100 buildings and was immediately followed by a wave of 6.5 magnitude aftershocks for 11 minutes. Nine hours later when things had seemed to calm down, a second earthquake (that happened to lie on an intersecting fault line) was triggered with an appalling magnitude of 7.5 which occurred 59 miles north of the Gaziantep quake. Between these two devastating earthquakes, the death toll has reached more than 24,000 deaths with thousands of people still missing and an extensive amount of casualties.

As a nation, Turkey, as well as much of the Middle East, is no stranger to earthquakes that are classified as “major.” In the past three years alone Turkey has gone through five earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from a 5.8 to a 7 (not including Monday’s catastrophe). However, there are a few reasons why this one stands out from the rest, one reason being the horrifying amount of casualties. Turkey has not seen so many since 1999 in the province of İzmit and nearly a century before that. The second is the fact that an already extremely powerful earthquake (one with the equivalent might of 3.5 million tons of dynamite) happened to trigger another earthquake that almost matched the first one’s power, a very rare occurrence that only has a one in 20 chance of happening.

Disaster volunteers search for survivors. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Thankfully Turkey and Syria have begun to receive disaster aid from countless nations even before the second quake. To list a few: Russia , Ukraine, China, Egypt, Germany, Norway, the U.S., the entirety of the European Union, as well as at least 18 other nations have been sending assistance. The White House declared on February 8th that we would be sending two, 79-person search and rescue teams. In addition to this, our very own Santa Barbara-based disaster relief organization, Direct Relief, has committed three million dollars to the cause. The funding generated by Direct Relief has been directed mainly towards AKUT, the largest search and rescue organization involved in Turkey, as well as the Syrian American Medical Society.

“The actions of private people and businesses around the world to participate in the assistance effort help enormously and are inspiring to see,” said CEO and President of Direct Relief, Thomas Tighe.

 With families being tragically torn apart, homes reduced to rubble, an average of 4.1 million people are relying entirely on the help of disaster relief organizations such as Direct Relief. Today, you can go on Direct Relief’s website and make a donation as little as $1. Every ounce of support helps.

screen-shot-2022-05-24-at-12.51.07-pmROMAN TROVATO

Staff Writer


Roman Trovato is in 11th grade at San Marcos High School…