Drone photos show the massive devastation caused by the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey, leaving tens of thousands dead and injured. Aleppo, Syria February 8, 2023 (Mohammad Bash/ Shutterstock)
By Harper Meacham
A magnitude 6.3 aftershock struck Turkey and Syria Monday, killing eight and injuring 300 just weeks after a deadly earthquake hit in the same area.
Turkey’s southern Hatay providence, along the Syrian border, felt the effects of the temblors that damaged buildings that had survived the quakes earlier this month. More than 48,000 people have died across Turkey and Syria since the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Feb. 6.
“The new tremblor has unsettled families and communities who’ve already had their sense of security shaken to the core,” said Jenelle Eli, a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the Kahramanmaraş region was expected to face severe aftershocks, especially after experiencing the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation Reconstruction estimated reconstruction to cost nearly $85 billion addressing the 8,000 budlings that were destroyed.
The aftershocks trapped many inside buildings, and an aid group with workers in Syria reported many citizens jumping from buildings in a panic.
Out of fear of losing more lives, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay urged the public to stay far from damaged buildings, especially if there are belongings inside.
Before the disaster, Turkey was already recovering from a collapsing currency and runaway inflation crisis; some leaders of opposing parties took this opportunity after the earthquake to defame Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in hopes of furthering their campaign in preparation for elections this May.
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said if anyone is to blame for this disaster, it’sErdoğan.
“In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest,” Erdoğan said in response to Kilicdaroglu.
Erdoğan will face growing pressure to address Turkey’s inevitable economic blow and the thousands of lives lost due to the massive destruction, especially with elections around the corner.