At 4:17 a.m. local time on February 6, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Turkey near the city of Gaziantep, along the border with Syria. Just 11 minutes later, the region was struck again, by a 6.7 magnitude aftershock. These strong quakes were followed by more in the early afternoon, with a 7.5 magnitude tremblor hitting the region, followed by a 6.0 magnitude aftershock.
The powerful quakes, which were felt as far away as Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq and Egypt, have killed thousands of people in Turkey and Syria, and injured many more. Though search-and-rescue operations are under way across the region, response efforts will be complicated by difficult weather conditions—temperatures are expected to dip as low as 19°F, with frequent rain, snow and ice—as well as ongoing conflict in northern Syria.
After contacting staff members to confirm that they and their family members are safe, International Medical Corps began coordinating closely with our local teams and partners, assessing the situation across the region and is mobilising its response. Our team in Syria has already deployed to communities, bringing medical and mental health services, as well as vital supplies—such as blankets, clean water, hand sanitisers and sanitary pads—to women, children and men affected by the quakes. We also are in discussion with the World Health Organization regarding a potential deployment of our Emergency Medical Team.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will update our website as our response progresses.
The needs are significant. You can help. Please donate now to save the lives of women, children and men caught up in this disaster.