Quake Strikes Southern Turkey and Syria, Death Toll Reaches Thousands

By: Merica Francine Dela Rosa
February 07, 2023

The scene of devastation after a second magnitude earthquake strikes Turkey and Syria, taking the lives of thousands in its wake. Photo courtesy of Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A second earthquake strikes Turkey hours after the 7.8 magnitude tremor, killing more than 4,300 people (as of 1 p.m. PHT), with rescuers attempting to pull survivors from beneath the wreckage. 

The epicenter of the region's first severe earthquake after a century occurred around 4 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

After the first earthquake, more than a thousand people were killed and several thousand injured in Turkey. In Syria, 711 people died and 1,451 were reported injured, according to the Syrian state news agency.

After about nine hours, an aftershock of 7.5 magnitude struck the country, 95 kilometers north of the original quake, which is believed to have resulted in more casualties. 

The quake was estimated to be the largest to hit the country since 1939, with the same magnitude, killing 30,000 people. The earthquake destroyed hundreds of structures. It also could be felt as far as Cyprus and Egypt.

Search and rescue teams have been summoned to the southern part of the country. Turkey's interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, stated the disaster agency, AFAD, has requested international assistance through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre. 

On Monday morning, messages of grief and support began to circulate from Leaders to Citizens on the news of the destructive earthquake.