Devastation in Turkey & Syria: Earthquake Causes Destruction & UNICEF Seeks Donations for Aid

On February 6, 2023, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Turkey and Syria. The quake caused powerful tsunami waves that flooded an area on Japan's Pacific coast greater than 500 square kilometers (193 square miles).[0] Since then, search and rescue crews have worked around the clock to dig out survivors in Antakya, Hatay, in Turkey.[1] As of February 12, 2023, 33,000 people had died in the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, with many still trapped in rubble.[2]

The devastation of the quake has been compounded by the already dangerous humanitarian crisis in Syria, which landed the country on the International Rescue Committee’s 2023 Emergency Watchlist.[3] Prolonged conflict in the country has weakened Syria’s health system, making it difficult for aid to enter the country.[4]

Experts believe the government and local authorities could have taken further precautions to ensure all buildings were safe and earthquake design regulations were being implemented.[5] It is estimated that between 6,000 and 7,000 buildings fell on Monday.[5] However strong, no earthquake could have caused this much damage if all buildings were up to standard.[5]

Rescuers have found many survivors, including a pregnant woman and two children, after more than 100 hours under rubble.[6] Miraculous rescues continue to occur almost 150 hours after the quake.

UNICEF is providing child protection, safe water, emergency supplies, humanitarian support and other aid to families in Turkey, Syria and crisis zones worldwide.[4] Donations are needed to help UNICEF reach more children in need.[7]

The earthquake has had a devastating effect on Turkey and Syria, with thousands of lives lost and thousands of homes destroyed. But there is still hope for those affected, as rescue workers continue their relentless search for survivors, and donations are sought to provide aid to those in need.

0. “The worst earthquakes in recorded history” DW (English), 10 Feb. 2023,

1. “Videos: Rescuers face grueling task of sifting through Antakya's wreckage” The Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2023,

2. “Death toll climbs to 33,000 people in Turkey-Syria earthquake” CNN, 12 Feb. 2023,

3. “UN emergency fund releases an additional US$25 million to boost earthquake response in Syria” OCHA, 10 Feb. 2023,

4. “How to help after the Syria-Turkey earthquake” International Rescue Committee, 8 Feb. 2023,

5. “Why did so many buildings collapse in Turkey?” Al Jazeera English, 9 Feb. 2023,

6. “Colorado nonprofit delivering medical supplies to people impacted by earthquake” KUSA, 13 Feb. 2023,

7. “How to help victims of Turkey-Syria earthquake” WPLG Local 10, 10 Feb. 2023,