Recent Earthquakes Are Getting Worse After 7.8 Magnitude Decimates Turkey and Syria
In an effort to find more survivors among the rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people and overturned thousands of structures across a vast territory, rescuers in Turkey and war-torn Syria searched through the icy night into Tuesday.
Authorities anticipated that as rescuers searched through the tangles of metal and concrete scattered across the region plagued by Syria’s 12-year civil war and refugee crisis, the death toll from Monday’s early-morning earthquake and its aftershocks would continue to rise.
As first responders struggled in the rain and snow, survivors shouted out for assistance from among the mounds of rubble. The area was shaken by more earthquakes, including one that was almost as strong as the first one.
As anxious relatives awaited word of loved ones, workers gently removed concrete slabs and reached for bodies.
“My grandson is one and a half. They were on the 12th floor,” Imran Bahur sobbed Monday in front of her demolished apartment complex in the Turkish city of Adana.
In Turkey and Syria, tens of thousands of people who were made homeless had to spend the night outside in the cold.
People sought sanctuary in malls, stadiums, mosques, and community centers in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, the province capital located about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the epicenter.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, proclaimed seven days of national mourning.
President of the United States Joe Biden contacted Erdogan to offer his condolences and support to the NATO ally. The White House announced that it would send search and rescue personnel to assist Turkey.
Residents of Damascus and Beirut rushed into the streets in response to the earthquake, which was felt as far away as Cairo and was centered in the province of Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey.
It added to the region’s already extreme hardship over the previous ten years.
On the Syrian side, the region is split between territory under government control and the final opposition-held outpost, which is encircled by government forces with Russian support.
Millions of civil war refugees currently reside in Turkey.
Is There Risk of Aftershocks?
Yes, there is a risk of more aftershocks occurring. Typically, when there is a large earthquake, many smaller ones will be felt further down the line. These ‘aftershocks’ can range in strength from 2 to 7 magnitude and can last for several months afterwards.
Some may not be as strong but they could still cause damage as well as add to the trauma experienced by those affected. It is important that people remain vigilant following an event like this and take necessary precautions when it comes to safety.
What Steps Are Being Taken to Avert Further Damage?
Governments and relief agencies have been quick to respond with aid and emergency services in order to help those affected. In addition, geophysical monitoring teams have been sent to the region in order to assess the risk of further damage from aftershocks.
This data can help inform public safety messages, ensuring that people are kept aware of any potential risks and take action if necessary. In addition, it can also help inform the actions taken by governments when it comes to aiding communities in need following an event like this.
How Can People Help Mitigate Quake Impacts in Turkey and Syria?
“We are racing against time, as there are people still stuck under the rubble, and the number of casualties is rising by the hour."
There are many ways in which people can help to mitigate the impacts of the tragedy. These include donating to relief agencies that provide food, medical supplies and shelter to those affected; providing material support, such as clothing and blankets; supporting vulnerable communities by getting involved in grassroots initiatives like fundraising campaigns; helping coordinate logistics for international aid efforts; and raising awareness about this devastating event. Every little bit helps in a time of crisis like this – any contribution big or small could make a difference.
Is Climate Change Exacerbating Earthquake Likelihood?
Climate change is likely to worsen the effects of natural disasters, including earthquakes. Higher temperatures cause more ground-level groundwater depletion and make some areas prone to landslides and liquefaction. Additionally, rising sea levels can strain tectonic plates, increasing seismic activity even in areas known for low seismicity. To learn more about how climate change affects seismicity and other natural hazards, research the current research surrounding how man-made environmental changes fuel these disasters.
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