A Second Earthquake Hits Syria and Turkey


Elizabeth Whitman

On Monday February 20th, there was another earthquake that hit the border of Turkey and Syria. This was only two weeks after the original earthquake in Turkey and Syria that killed over 44,000 people. The most recent earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3. This is less intense than the original earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.8. However, 6.3 is still regarded as a very strong earthquake that can have damaging effects on the countries it hits. This earthquake was strong enough to still be felt in Egypt and Lebanon. Another way that this earthquake differs from the first, is that it struck at night, around 8:00 pm, rather than in the early morning. The center of the earthquake was in Uzunbağ, a city in the south of Turkey that is near Syria. In Turkey, about six people died and 294 people were injured as a result of this earthquake and in Syria, two people died and about 190 were hurt. The earthquake also caused many buildings to collapse. This then led to search-and-rescue operations being sent out to look for people who may be stuck under the rubble of these buildings.

This earthquake was only the strongest in a series of aftershocks from the original earthquake. There have been thousands of aftershocks in Syria and Turkey since February 6th. Aftershocks happen after the first “main shock” and can continue until “the area has returned to the usual background seismicity level” (NPR). Aftershocks are normal and can persist for years after the initial event. The aftershocks in Turkey and Syria have harmed the infrastructure and the people of these countries. Many buildings and houses have continued to get weaker until they collapse throughout all the aftershocks. This has left over a million people homeless between the two countries. The lingering aftershocks have prevented Turkey and Syria from beginning to rebuild these buildings and recover from the earthquakes. Also, the aftershocks continue to kill and injure the people, causing them to be terrified of what will happen when the next aftershock comes. Hopefully, these aftershocks will cease and the people of these countries can begin to rebuild their lives.