Earthquakes Strike, Cause Damage In Turkey And Syria

Nikitha Srinivasan

Turkey and Syria were hit by 7.8-magnitude earthquakes, with aftershocks measuring 7.5 and 6.3. It spanned 62 miles and destroyed ten cities along the way. Because of their location on the Anatolian plate, Turkey and Syria are among the world’s most active earthquake zones. The plate is frequently “squeezed westward” as a result of the northern collision of the Eurasian and Arabian plates. According to Patricia Martnez-Garzón, a seismologist at a German research center, the plates’ stress has been building up for over a century.

The earthquake has taken many lives, killing 50,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals homeless. The Turkish President stated that the 865,000 people are living in tents because they are afraid of a building collapsing on them. 270 tent cities have been established. The citizens’ suffering is exacerbated by the cold winter weather.

It was estimated that 160,000 buildings collapsed as a result of the earthquake. There could have been a few reasons that these buildings designed to withstand earthquakes still collapsed. There is a possibility that old buildings had suffered trauma from previous Turkey earthquakes or that the buildings did not meet all earthquake safety codes due to human failings. At the moment, 600 people are being investigated for alleged poor building construction, and 200 people have already been arrested. There were pancake collapses in the earthquake where the exterior failed to hold the ceiling and it fell, making it difficult to save lives and make rescues very hard. Total collapse is something that should be avoided in both the code and the actual design. “What we are seeing here is definitely telling us something is wrong in those buildings, and it could be that they weren’t designed in line with the code in the first place, or the implementation wasn’t designed properly,” said a structural engineer and lecturer at the University of London. While the earthquake killed many people, some of them could have been saved if people had followed the proper procedures.

Hundreds of thousands of people are currently receiving food from the United Nations Food Program. Many of these employees are currently sleeping in their cars in subzero temperatures while attempting to assist others. Because of the sanctions imposed on the Syrian President, direct aid is not permitted, though first aid and other aid trucks have entered and assisted.

How can you help?

Donating is the most effective way to help. The White Helmets organization raises funds for the Syrian Civil Defense organization, which goes underneath the rubble to rescue people. Care Turkey facilitates the delivery of essential items to people in Turkey.

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