Disaster relief: Powerful earthquake strikes southern Turkey

A powerful earthquake struck southern Turkey early in the morning of Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, killing thousands of people, injuring many more, and causing widespread damage and destruction to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which began at 4:17 a.m. local time Monday, is being described as one of the most powerful to hit Turkey in nearly 75 years. Aftershocks following the initial quake on Monday registered as high as 7.5 on the Richter scale according to the U.S. Geological Survey, causing further damage.

The epicenter of the original earthquake was located in Gaziantep Province near Turkey’s border with Syria, about 60 miles northwest of the city of Gaziantep. Tremors and aftershocks affected large cities including Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Malatya, Kilis and Adana.

Within hours of the disaster, Embrace Relief began collecting donations to provide for the basic needs of the victims of the earthquake. To donate and help us provide food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials to the people of Turkey, click here.

The powerful earthquake could be felt as far away as Jordan, Israel and Egypt, while seismographs in Greenland – 3,600 miles away from the epicenter – also recorded the quake and its aftershocks.

News reports from Turkey have described scenes of chaos and panic in areas affected by the quake. At least hundreds of people are believed to be trapped underneath the rubble of collapsed buildings. Many more have had to flee their homes and seek shelter in mosques and other community centers. Cold January temperatures and wet weather are adding to the misery of those forced from their homes, and hampering rescue efforts, according to CNN.

The southern part of Turkey near the Syrian border is located near the junction of three tectonic plates, whose movement results in earthquakes at a fairly regular interval in this part of the world. Monday’s quake, however, was an exceptionally powerful one, believed to be the most powerful ever recorded in this region, according to the Washington Post.

The death toll is expected to climb, having been reported at more than 1,600 in Turkey as of midnight local time Tuesday. Rescue efforts are ongoing, and international aid organizations are calling for outside aid for the people of Turkey, especially food and medicine.

Every dollar donated to Embrace Relief will go directly to providing this aid to the victims of the earthquake, thanks to our partnership with international aid organizations on the ground in Turkey. Your donation will help people rebuild their lives and navigate through this tragic time.

The location of the initial earthquake in Turkey (blue dot), along with other aftershocks recorded as of 11:50 p.m. local time Monday (orange dots). Images courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.