A series of massive earthquakes in southeastern Turkey on February 6 and 7, 2023 (Credit: VOA/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons)

A series of powerful earthquakes have devastated large areas of Turkey and Syria and killed thousands of people. The first quake measured at 7.8 magnitude. It struck the southeastern region of Turkey, bordering Syria, early morning on February 6, 2023. As the world was still digesting the news the are was hit by two more large tremors. They measured at 7.5 magnitude and 6.0 magnitude, respectively.

At least 7,000 people have died. The numbers are expected to rise as rescuers look for residents trapped under the debris of flattened structures. Thousands of people have been injured, and tens of thousands have lost their homes.

Is Turkey prone to earthquakes?

Turkey is no stranger to earthquakes. The country sits on the Anatolian Plate between two major faults. They are the North Anatolian Fault and the East Anatolian Fault. The land masses are constantly bumping into each other. The friction sometimes causes the two plates to get stuck to each other. When they finally come apart, they release a large amount of energy. This results in earthquakes or tsunamis.

Why have the recent earthquakes caused so much damage?

The 7.8 earthquake hit close to the densely populated city of Gaziantep (Credit: VOA/ Public Domain)

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is the biggest to strike Turkey this century. Most quakes this size occur underwater. But this tremor and the ones that followed all hit land. To make matters worse, its epicenter was close to densely populated areas. Additionally, the area is home to a lot of old buildings. They are not strong enough to withstand such large quakes.

What is the world doing to help the affected regions?

The earthquakes have killed over 7,000 people in Turkey and Syria (Credit: Mahmut Bozarslan (VOA)/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons)

Governments worldwide are sending search and rescue crews, equipment, and medical aid to the region. The US has dispatched expert teams to help look for survivors in the rubble. Medics have also been sent to assist local doctors with the injured. In addition, President Joe Biden also promised "any and all" aid needed to help the regions recover from the deadly natural disasters.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Turkey and Syria. Stay strong! The world is with you!

Resources: NPR.com, WashingtonPost.com, Reuters.com