The Disaster of the Century: Türkiye Heals its Wounds

    Türkiye experienced a devastating day on February 6, 2023, when two earthquakes occurred nine hours apart, severely impacting 11 provinces. The epicentre of these earthquakes measured 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale, located in Kahramanmaraş’s Pazarcık and Elbistan districts, causing some regions to move seven meters from their original positions. The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 7 kilometres, lasted for over 30 seconds and was felt in several countries. Subsequently, there were 6,414 aftershocks in the following two weeks.

    The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, which struck 11 provinces in Türkiye, have been described as the “disaster of the century” due to their extensive impact. The affected provinces include Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Şanlıurfa. These earthquakes caused the loss of over 48,445 lives and left 115,000 people wounded. The devastating quakes affected more than 13.5 million people in Türkiye and forced 3.5 million to migrate to other regions and cities.

    Within seconds of the earthquakes, tens of thousands of people were buried under rubble, their homes and dreams destroyed. However, both Turkish citizens and the Turkish state, as well as people from all over the world, provided support to help those affected by the earthquakes recover and rebuild. Scores of citizens went to great lengths and volunteered to assist in search-and-rescue activities, while many more contributed to aid campaigns generously. The state, which has the primary responsibility for coordinating aid campaigns, search-and- rescue activities, rehabilitation, and reconstruction processes, worked tirelessly with the citizens day and night to heal the wounds of the disaster and alleviate the pain.

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