Written by Khadijah Jackson- Student Journalist
Over 200 hours ago, on February 6th, West and Central Turkey, alongside Western Syria, suffered an earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude. As of February 16th, Reuters states that there have been 42,000+ killed, 114,900+ injured, and overall 25M+ people affected by the disaster.
Earthquakes are measured on the Richter Scale, which is scaled on a range of 2-8+. On this scale, 2’s are earthquakes that are often not felt, but can be measured; 8’s are severe quakes that have the power to destroy entire communities near it’s epicenter. In the last two decades, the Natural Environment Research Council has stated that earthquakes that have a 7.0-7.9 happen only 15 times a year on average. The last 7.8 was in 2020 near Alaska, while the last 7.0-7.9 were the 7.6 earthquakes in Mexico and Papua New Guinea in September 2022.
With such a sudden, unpredictable earthquake, there is always going to be the question of what caused it. Turkey is known for having earthquakes, being right in the middle of tectonic plates. “Most of the largest earthquakes in the past hundred years have been along the North Anatolian Fault. But stress has been building along another major fault: the East Anatolian Fault. That fault has seen some big earthquakes in the past, says Patricia Martínez-Garzón, a seismologist at GFZ Potsdam, a research center in Germany. But more recently, there hasn’t been as much activity,” (NPR, 2023).
With such a tragedy, there is not much we can do, except send our support. If you are able to, help support the people affected by finding places around you that are collecting materials or money for Turkey and Syria. Items being collected are blankets, clothing, diapers- anything that can be used to support the people in need.
Hernandez, Joe, and Geoff Brumfiel. “What caused the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.” NPR, 7 February 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/02/07/1154913148/turkey-earthquake-fault-lines-syria
“Is Earthquake Activity Increasing?” BGS Earthquake, http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/news/EQ_increase.html