On the evening of February 23rd, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkey-Syria border region, leaving at least nine people dead and dozens more injured. The quake’s epicentre was reportedly near the town of Sivrice in the eastern Turkish province of Elazig, not far from the Syrian border.
Here’s what we know so far about this latest seismic event:
The quake struck at 9:23 p.m. local time and was felt across a wide area of southeastern Turkey and northern Syria. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake’s depth was just over six miles (10 kilometres).
In the quake’s immediate aftermath, authorities reported that several buildings had collapsed around Sivrice, trapping people beneath the rubble. Search and rescue efforts were quickly mobilized, with emergency workers using heavy equipment and sniffer dogs to locate and extract survivors.
Officials in Turkey and Syria announced a state of emergency in the impacted areas as the full scope of the destruction became known. The surge of injured persons swamped the local hospitals, and some patients allegedly had to be moved to facilities in neighbouring provinces for treatment.
Nine people have died, and many more have been injured due to the earthquake. As search and rescue operations go on and more fatalities are found, it’s believed that the number of casualties may increase.
Why do earthquakes happen?
Earthquakes occur when two pieces of the earth’s crust unexpectedly brush against one another, sending seismic waves through the earth that cause the ground to tremble. This happens when the fault runs through the two blocks. Human activity, such as fracking or the construction of big dams, can also create earthquakes.
How can you prepare for an earthquake?
If you live in a location where earthquakes are likely, you should make preparations for one. Here are some things you can do to get ready:
- Identify safe spots in your home. During an earthquake, you should seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk or in a doorway.
- Know what to do during an earthquake. This includes dropping to the ground, covering your head and neck, and holding on to something sturdy until the shaking stops.
- Have a family communication plan. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in an earthquake, including where to meet up after the shaking stops.
We hope rescue efforts can quickly locate any remaining survivors and the region can recover from this tragic event.