The dramatic balance of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake continues to rise which hit southern Turkey and northern Syria. At least 1,444 people have died across Syria, In government-controlled areas the toll has risen to “1,431 injured and 711 dead in Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Tartus provinces,” the Syrian health ministry said. In rebel-held parts of the country’s northwest, 733 people were killed and more than 2,100 injured. The new toll brings the total number of deaths in both countries to at least 3,760, after Turkey revised its toll earlier to 2,316.
At least 120 aftershocks occurred after tonight’s powerful earthquake in southern Turkey, according to an update by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD). According to the USGS, which reports only the most significant aftershocks that are actually felt by those in the earthquake zone, there were at least 43 those of magnitude 4.3 or higher. Three of the aftershocks measured 6.0 or more, including the massive 7.5-magnitude quake that struck 95 kilometers (59 miles) north of the epicenter of the morning’s main quake.
The soil of Anatolia has moved at least three meters: it is the signature of one of the most violent earthquakes ever recorded in Turkey. With a magnitude of 7.8, the earthquake that occurred between south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria was a thousand times stronger than that of Amatrice in 2016 and 30 times stronger than that of Irpinia in 1980. , followed by hundreds of replicas, was recorded by seismographs around the world, as far away as Greenland, as noted by the Danish Geological Institute. The earthquake occurred in a highly seismic area, the meeting point of the East Anatolian, Arabic and African plates, with the former being crushed by the Arabic plate and pushed west towards the Aegean. One of the two major faults that cross Turkey was activated, the South-East Anatolian one, which “is one of the most active in the Middle East, together with that of the Dead Sea which crosses Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan and which separates the Arab from African”, observes the president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv), Carlo Doglioni. It is along this fault that the two edges of the ground have moved: “in the area of maximum movement there has been a shift of at least three metres”, adds Doglioni. The cause of the slip was a “transpressive” movement, i.e. that the ground moved horizontally along the fault (therefore with a transcurrent movement), during which there was also a compression between the Anatolian and Arabian plates. “The displacement of three meters is a first estimate”, observes the president of Ingv and more precise measurements, “will be available as soon as we have the satellite data. At the moment we only have numerical models available”. The data is expected from the Sentinels of the Copernicus programme, of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) and from the Cosmo Sky-Med constellation, of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Turkey was a thousand times stronger than the one that struck Amatrice in 2016 and 30 times stronger than that of Irpinia in 1980. (ANSA)
The passage of seismic waves generated by the violent #earthquake of magnitude 7.8 which took place tonight in Turkey through some of the Italian and European seismographs. The colors represent ground motion: red (uplift) and blue (lower).pic.twitter.com/0g8hLT27o2
— The World of Earthquakes (@mondoterremoti) February 6, 2023
The earthquake that struck Turkey last night was the largest disaster recorded in the country since 1939, the Turkish president said today Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to media reports, the Turkish leader was referring to the Erzincan earthquake, which claimed the lives of some 33,000 people 84 years ago. The 1999 İzmit earthquake, measuring 7.6, is believed to have killed more than 17,000 people. “I hope we put these disastrous days behind us. Today is the day of 85 million hearts in one beat.” This was stated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a meeting with the Turkish civil protection sthe earthquake that shook the country. “The season is winter, the weather is cold and the earthquake occurred in the middle of the night, making things difficult, but everyone is working hard and reacted as fast as possible,” he added, expressing pain and condolences for the victims. Erdogan has proclaimed seven days of national mourning: the flags will fly at half-mast until sunset from today until Sunday 12 February.
“Pope Francis was ‘deeply saddened by the massive loss of life’ caused by the earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, assuring all those affected “of his spiritual closeness”. And in addition to her “closeness” and “condolences”, she expresses encouragement to the relief personnel. The Pontiff also expresses similar sentiments for the victims caused by the earthquake in the area of north-west Syria. This can be read in two telegrams sent, in the name of the Pope, by Cardinal Pietro Parolin to the apostolic nuncios in Turkey and Syria, mgr. Marek Solczynski and card. Mario Zenari.
The shocks of the devastating earthquake were felt up to Greenland. This was reported by the Danish Geological Institute.
Earthquake in Turkey, two little girls are pulled alive from the rubble
The Syrian civil protection NGO White Helmets (White Helmets) has declared a state of emergency in the north-east of the country and has launched an appeal to international humanitarian organizations to intervene with aid quickly. The earthquake occurred at 4:17 in the morning (2:17 Italian time) and had its epicenter near Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey about fifty kilometers from the Syrian border. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the earthquake: in addition to homes, the Church of the Annunciation of Iskenderun, a Catholic cathedral dating back to the 19th century, almost completely collapsed. The castle of Gaziantep, a Roman-era structure built in the third century, has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Rescue operations continue, it is estimated that many people are still under the rubble and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is constantly informed about the situation.
The Civil Protection Department had initially issued an alert for a possible tsunami caused by the earthquake in Turkey but the alert was later revoked. The United States has given its willingness to send “any type of assistance” to Ankara while a team of 370 people has already been sent from Azerbaijan to help with the relief efforts. The earthquake was also felt in the central provinces of Turkey and also in Israel.
Biden, ready to provide the necessary assistance for the earthquake – “I am deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. I have told my team to continue to monitor the situation, coordinate with Turkey and provide all necessary assistance.” US President Joe Biden tweets it.
White House, stand by to help – “The United States is deeply concerned by reports of today’s terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We stand ready to provide any assistance needed. President Biden has instructed USAID to evaluate US response options to help those most affected. We will continue to monitor the situation closely in coordination with the government of Turkey.” So the White House in a statement.
Netanyahu approves aid to Syria – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has given the go-ahead to send aid to earthquake-hit Syria after receiving a request through diplomatic channels, as countries do not they have official relationships. Israel “received a request for humanitarian aid to Syria from a diplomatic source and I approved it,” Netanyahu told lawmakers in his party, adding that aid would be sent soon.
Zelensky, ‘ready to provide assistance’ – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences on Twitter to the victims of the earthquake that hit southern Turkey overnight and offered assistance. “We stand by the Turkish people in this difficult time. We are ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster,” Zelensky said in a tweet.
Earthquake in Turkey, the collapse of a building in the city of Sanliurfa
Putin, ready to provide assistance – Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that Moscow is ready to provide all necessary assistance to Ankara following the powerful earthquake that has claimed numerous lives. The Kremlin, as Tass reports, quoted Putin’s condolence telegram to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “We are ready to provide the necessary assistance following the earthquake”.
Russia is close to the Syrian people hit hard by last night’s earthquake. This is what we read in the message sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Syrian colleague Bashar al Assad, according to a transcript by the Syrian government agency Sana. Putin also said that Russia is ready to help the Syrian people affected by tonight’s earthquake.
Borrell, the EU is ready to help – “A devastating earthquake shook Turkey and Syria this morning, killing hundreds of people and injuring many more. Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria. The EU is ready to help” : writes it in a tweet the High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell.
Ingv, between East Anatolian, Arabica and African (ANSA)
Tajani, all the Italians contacted are fine – “In the area where there was the strongest earthquake, there are 21 Italians: we have reached them and we understand that they are all well. In the wider area there are 168 Italians: from the crossings we have made, we understand that they are everyone safe”. This was stated by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani speaking with journalists about the earthquake between Turkey and Syria.
Piantedosi, ready to go with help – “We already have the resources and dedicated teams ready for research in dramatic urban contexts such as those that have occurred. I express my solidarity and closeness to the Turkish government and people. We Italians know very well what it means to experience dramas of this type, so we are preparing for the best to be part of every help. We already have a ready form of the fire brigade, plus other technological resources, we are ready to leave as soon as there is the consent of the helped country. It’s a matter of hours”. Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said it in Foggia, on the sidelines of the safety committee.
Tajani, help from Civil Protection (ANSA)
Strong tremors also in Lebanon – Terror in the night for the populations of various Lebanese cities where the earthquake with its epicenter in southern Turkey was felt on several occasions also in Beirut, Tripoli and other Lebanese cities without however causing casualties or damage. “We thought it was another August 4,” a Lebanese woman told local media, terrified of reliving the trauma of the devastating Beirut port explosion that killed 250 people and injured more than 6,000 on August 4, 2020. Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi reported that there are no victims in Lebanon but has ordered the civil protection to secure civilians in areas where there are dangerous buildings and infrastructures.
Earthquake in Turkey, the buildings collapse hours after the earthquake