Aftermath of Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake in Southeastern Turkey and Northern Syria

On February 6th, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 2,600 people and injuring thousands of others.[0] This was followed by a magnitude 7.5 tremor and several powerful aftershocks. The quake caused significant destruction, drastically affecting the historic Gaziantep Castle, which had been in use since Roman times.[1]

The earthquake occurred when two tectonic plates, the Arabian plate and the Anatolian plate, rubbed against each other, resulting in the pressure building up and jerking one plate across the other.[2] This is known as a major earthquake, registering a 7.8 on the official magnitude scale, and is one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in the area.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has mobilized aid to Syria, focusing on assessing the impact the quake had on water stations and other services, as well as helping unaccompanied children find their families. It is expected that the death toll will rise as the search for survivors continues in harsh winter conditions.[3]

After major earthquakes, there are usually many smaller earthquakes known as aftershocks as the crust readjusts to the changes in stress.[4] These can continue for days to years after the initial event, and it is expected that the current earthquake will follow this trend. UNICEF teams are providing emergency assistance to children and families in Syria as the region tries to come to terms with the destruction caused by the earthquake.

0. “Oxfam mounting response to massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria | Oxfam” Oxfam America, 6 Feb. 2023,

1. “Earthquake damages Turkey's historic Gaziantep Castle” NPR, 6 Feb. 2023,

2. “Why the earthquake in Turkey, Syria was so devastating” The Hill, 6 Feb. 2023,

3. “Syria and Turkey earthquake: what we know so far” The Guardian, 6 Feb. 2023,

4. “A Seismologist Explains The Science of The Devastating Türkiye-Syria Earthquake” ScienceAlert, 7 Feb. 2023,