Another Earthquake Rattles Turkey-Syria

    Another Earthquake Rattles Turkey-Syria
    Last updated Feb 20, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via BBC]


    • As the death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Syria and Turkey earlier this month rises to more than 46k, another 6.4 magnitude quake hit southern Turkey and Northern Syria on Monday, concentrated in the Turkish province of Hatay, which saw some of the worst damage in the previous earthquake.
    • Monday's quake — striking at a depth of 2km (1.2 miles) and felt in nearby Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon — was followed by another 5.8-magnitude tremble. According to Turkey's interior minister, at least three people have been killed and a further 213 injured.
    • Turkey's disaster management agency (AFAD) warned people to stay away from the coastline as a precaution against potentially rising sea levels caused by the quake. Turkish officials have reported over 6k aftershocks since the initial Feb. 6 earthquake and 32 following Monday's quake.
    • Meanwhile, Syrian state media reported that falling debris injured six people in Aleppo, while Hatay Mayor Lutfu Savas said a number of buildings also collapsed, leaving people trapped inside as they were returning home or attempting to retrieve furniture after the previous quake.
    • According to its mayor, electricity was out in the Turkish coastal city of Iskenderun, and in Aqrabat, Syria, children were reportedly evacuated from a hospital as a precaution despite freezing temperatures outside.
    • The new quakes came a day after US Sec. of State Antony Blinken pledged an additional $100M in combined aid to Syria and Turkey on top of the $85.5M already pledged by Pres. Joe Biden.


    Narrative A

    Turkey couldn't afford the first earthquake, let alone a second wave, and this is largely due to Pres. Erdoğan’s neglect. He failed to implement earthquake-safe infrastructure and, in the quakes' aftermath, has abandoned vast regions — specifically those in the southeast that are home to marginalized Kurds — while censoring and arresting journalists who report on his negligence, which has left countless people under the rubble and their surviving family members with little hope for government help.

    Narrative B

    In the aftermath of this devastating disaster, Erdoğan is doing what he can. 1.68M people have already been provided temporary shelter by the government as they await further assistance, and a 200k apartment rebuilding project — which will see 40k houses built in each of the Hatay, Kahramanmaras, and Malatya provinces — is set to begin in March, showing solidarity between Turkey's institutions despite those seeking to extort the disaster for political gain.

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