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Fault Line : Surviving 7.7 and 7.6 Earthquakes

2023 - 2024

On February 6, 2023, Turkey experienced a devastating natural catastrophe with a 7.7 magnitude earthquake originating from the Pazarcik district in Kahramanmaras. The seismic shockwaves spread fear and destruction across 11 provinces, extending tragedy into Syria. Just 9 hours later, a second earthquake of 7.6 magnitude, centered in Elbistan district, Kahramanmaras, compounded the initial disaster's impact. According to the Mercalli scale, the intensity reached "XII," indicating a catastrophic event, a true nightmare for witnesses.The earthquakes claimed the lives of at least 50 thousand people, with over 100 thousand others sustaining injuries in Turkey, according to official figures. This event, documented as the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Republic of Turkey, etched itself into memories as the disaster of the century.

More than 35 thousand buildings were destroyed and approximately 300 thousand buildings were seriously damaged. Historical landmarks, unable to withstand the earthquakes' force, turned to dust. Post-catastrophe, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) experts reported 1.5 million people rendered homeless in Turkey. 5 million individuals were forced to migrate, reshaping millions of lives across the country.

Earthquakes in Turkey, compounded by economic struggles, triggered mass migration, leading to a $148.8 billion economic toll, surpassing the 1999 Marmara Earthquake losses by over sixfold. This financial burden, equivalent to 9% of Turkey's 2023 GDP, disproportionately affected those unable to migrate due to economic constraints.

The indelible marks of the earthquake are evident not only on the landscape but also on the people, spanning approximately 550 kilometers along the Eastern Anatolian Fault Line, which bore the brunt of the disaster in Hatay, Nurdagi, Kahramanmaras, Goksun, Elbistan, Malatya, and Adiyaman.

For those who lived through this tragedy, the aftermath brings challenges in accessing housing, employment, education, and health services even months later. Simultaneously, they grapple with the enduring trauma, profound sorrow, uncertainty, and anxiety about the future as they navigate their daily lives.

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