Turkey: 5th major earthquake hits country, death toll crosses 5,000
Another powerful earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale jolted Turkey on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. The fifth major earthquake struck the country's eastern part, per USGS, adding to the ongoing crisis triggered by repeated tremors in Turkey and Syria since Monday. Reportedly, the death toll from the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has climbed to 5,000.
Why does this story matter?
- The fresh earthquake comes only 24 hours after a high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck southeastern Turkey in the early hours of Monday, sending powerful tremors to neighboring Syria.
- Later, a second earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck, followed by another one measuring 6.0.
- Notably, Turkey sits on three major tectonic plates—African, Arabian, and Eurasian—making it one of the world's most active earthquake zones.
Earthquake brings devastation, over 5,600 buildings collapse in Turkey alone
Associated Press reported that thousands of buildings have collapsed in the worst-affected cities of Turkey and Syria. The damaged area extended from Syria's cities of Aleppo and Hama to Turkey's Diyarbakir. Over 5,600 buildings were destroyed in Turkey alone, including hospitals and other crucial buildings, AP said, citing disaster management officials.
Rescue operations hit due to back-to-back quakes
According to Reuters, the rescue and search activities have been impeded by back-to-back earthquakes, the most recent of which was recorded in Turkey's eastern part. Rescuers are reportedly working hard to help victims trapped beneath the rubble as the death toll rises. Due to the destruction, one of the runways at Hatay International Airport in Turkey, which serves Antakya and Iskenderun, has become inoperable.
UN, WHO rush humanitarian aid to Turkey
The United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) have dispatched emergency response teams and medical teams to Turkey for rescue and assistance, per Associated Press. It quoted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) as saying that emergency response teams have been dispatched to Turkey to help the country in its hour of need.
Major countries activated rescue mission
The European Union (EU) has already activated search and rescue operations. The Copernicus satellite system of the EU has also been activated in order to map affected regions as soon as possible. Meanwhile, more than 20 nations, including the United States, are arranging emergency aid for Turkey. Moreover, India sent a second assistance mission to Turkey on Tuesday, using C-17 planes.
Watch: India sends second rescue and relief squad to Turkey
Second @IAF_MCC C-17 with self-contained @NDRFHQ teams including dog squads, search & rescue equipment, extrication tools and vehicles leaves for Türkiye.— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) February 7, 2023
India continues to support the people of Türkiye in their hour of need. pic.twitter.com/Pkfbwrg8FF
Dalai Lama extended help in rescue and relief work
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Tuesday expressed grief over the loss of lives in Turkey and Syria. "I offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and pray for all those affected by this tragedy," he stated. He also asked the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama to make a donation toward the rescue and relief efforts.