Turkey, Syria hit by second quake

Turkey was hit with more earthquakes this week, as the country recovers from the earthquake that hit on Feb. 6. Early last week, the quakes that shook the country had magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8, which are both smaller than the intial quake.

The Feb. 6 earthquake currently has a death toll of about 45,000, with considerable infrastructure cost across Turkey and Syria, affecting, according to some reports, almost 30 million people. The situation has continued to deteriorate for Turkey and Syria, as the aftereffects of these quakes are making the rescue more difficult, damaging infrastructure, and further weakening buildings that had survived prior devastation.

The new quake rocked Antakya in the Hatay province of Turkey, and, according to Turkey’s health minister, a total of 294 were injured, with 18 people being injured seriously. The death toll — around thirteen as of the writing of this article — is low due to the evacuations from the first earthquake. The impacted regions were mostly empty, and while the infrastructure has been hit hard, not many people are left in the region. According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 1.6 million people are in temporary housing. However, several people were retrieving their things from the buildings in Antakya, and some were trapped in collapsed from the second quakes.

With the ongoing civil war in Syria, this second quake is going to only further disrupt any humanitarian aid sent to the country. Consistent conflict, as well as massive displacement from natural disasters, will continue to stress the resources the country has. In some places, civilians were jumping out of buildings during the quakes. Rescues are still occurring.

The area is predicted to get several more magnitude five earthquakes over the next year, and these continuing aftershocks are only going to make rescue and rebuilding processes harder. Erdogan has promised a swift rebuild, with this crisis being weaponized by both coalitions to win the coming elections.

The U.S. has promised $100 million to help Turkey in the coming months.