Deadly 7.8 Earthquake Rocks Turkey and Syria, Leaving Over 2,300 Dead

On Monday morning, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria, leaving more than 2,300 people dead and thousands more injured.[0] The magnitude 7.5 aftershock later in the day only added to the destruction.[1] Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) has called for international help amid the severe aftershocks.[2]

Official figures from Turkey report 1,498 people killed, 7,600 injured, and 2,818 buildings collapsed. Syria’s health ministry reported 430 killed and 1,280 injured in government-held areas, while groups in rebel-held areas reported at least 380 killed and hundreds more injured.[3] In addition, the historic Gaziantep Castle, which has been in use since Roman times, has been badly damaged by the earthquake.[4]

The epicentre of the first quake was near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, and tremors were felt as far away as Cyprus, Cairo and Mosul.[1] Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay has reported that 1,541 people have perished and 9,733 have been hurt, based on the most recent figures.

In response to Turkey's request to utilize the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the European Union has dispatched search-and-rescue operations.[5] The EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in contact with authorities to coordinate additional assistance, as needed, through this system.[5] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, reported that 45 nations have offered assistance in the search and rescue operations.[3]

What caused the earthquake and why was it so deadly?[6] Earth tremors of this magnitude can be the deadliest in any given year.[5] Turkey is located in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones, with land stretching over the Anatolian fault line in the north of the country that has caused large and destructive tremors in the past.[3]

Humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have mobilized with local partners in northwestern Syria to respond to the increasing needs in the area.[7] Videos circulating on social media show buildings collapsing in Aleppo, Syria and Malatya, Turkey.[8] Despite the dangers that remain after the initial earthquake tremors, rescue teams are working tirelessly to save lives.[3]

0. “Turkey-Syria Earthquake Live Updates: More than 2,300 Killed in Two Powerful Quakes” The Wall Street Journal, 6 Feb. 2023,

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

2. “How to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria” CNN, 6 Feb. 2023,

3. “A visual guide to the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria” The Guardian, 6 Feb. 2023,

4. “Ancient castle used by Romans and Byzantines destroyed in Turkey earthquake” CNN, 6 Feb. 2023,

5. “Thousands killed, injured in Turkey and Syria by strong earthquakes” POLITICO Europe, 6 Feb. 2023,

6. “Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake in Nurdağı, Turkey | U.S. Geological Survey” United States Geological Survey (.gov), 6 Feb. 2023,

7. “Earthquakes strike Turkey and Syria” Doctors Without Borders (MSF-USA), 6 Feb. 2023,

8. “Turkey earthquake: Terrifying video shows block of flats collapse in less than 10 seconds” Sky News, 6 Feb. 2023,