Turkey/Syria – ACAPS Thematic Report: Profile of Earthquake-affected Governorates (13 February 2023) – Türkiye


Crisis Overview

At 4:17h (GMT+03:00) on 6 February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Kahramanmaras region of southeastern Turkey, affecting areas of southern Turkey and northwestern Syria. Less than 12 hours later, at 13:45h (GMT+03:00), a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the same region. Although the number of people needed has yet to be determined, 12 million people live in the affected areas of southeastern Turkey, including two million Syrian refugees (BBC 06/02/2023; IBC 06/02/2023). In Syria, more than six million have been affected (OCHA 11/02/2023). As of February 12, the death toll in Turkey and Syria was over 29,600. This number is expected to continue to rise with ongoing search and rescue efforts (Al Jazeera accessed 12/02/2023).

Needs: There are significant data gaps, but affected populations need shelter, warm winter clothing, food, heating systems and blankets. In addition to serious health infrastructure damage, the number of injured people also requires medical attention. Protection concerns need to be considered due to active insecurity, family separation, unknown numbers of minors, and increased risk of gender-based violence (The Guardian 11/02/2023; WVI 08/02/2023; Relief Direct 07/02/2023). The picture of need and the extent of damage and destruction will continue to evolve as responders continue to focus on life-saving assistance. The extent of destruction and damage, a succession of aftershocks that are sowing fear, have prevented people from returning home. As of February 12, aftershocks were still occurring in the Turkish-Syrian border region (USGS 11/02/2023; Atlantic 08/02/2023). Until the aftershock subsides and the remaining buildings can be tested for their safety and structural integrity, most people will not be able to stay in their homes, meaning they will be without shelter, the ability to cook, and access to and necessities for their belongings. of humanitarian aid.

Access: Meteorological conditions and geological hazards have resulted in persistent earthquake aftershocks, heavy snowfall, icy roads, landslides, rockfalls and flooding hampering access and aid delivery to affected areas (The Guardian 10/02/2023; DW 09 /02/2023;
AP Accessed 08/02/2023; DFS, IMMAP 2023-02-07; AFAD 07/02/2023). The conflict is also affecting access to northwestern Syria. In parts of Turkey, outbreaks of looting and violence have stalled rescue efforts (The Guardian 11/02/2023).

Impact: Damage to critical infrastructure, including urban gas, electricity and water systems, is still being assessed. The collapse of Syria’s Al Taloul Dam in the northern countryside of Idlib, combined with the rising water levels of the Orontes River, has already caused flooding in the village of Al Taloul. An IDP camp in the village was also affected (Al Jazeera 11/02/2023;
France24, AFP 09/02/2023). The entire population of the village (over 1,700 people) is probably affected. Before the earthquake, there were concerns about damage to major dams in both countries. The Maidanaki and Ghaniri dams in Syria and the Atatürk and Sultansuyu dams in Turkey have presented various breaches that could cause flooding (IMMAP 09/02/2023;
Such report 09/02/2023; Enabbaladi 07/02/2023; Hower News 2023-02-09). Therefore, some dams such as Atatürk, although not directly affected by the earthquake, may be at risk of collapse due to structural weakening and increasing the impact of the earthquake on the surrounding population (HowerNews 02/09/2023).

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