The tremors of Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and northern Syria have reverberated worldwide. As Turkish people grapple with how to move forward, many of their neighbors and allies have offered help.
Ukraine, for example, is sending a group of search and rescue workers to Turkey to assist with the crisis. Ukrainians’ hearts and prayers have been with their Turkish friends today.
Professional associations and organizations are jumping into action, too. Doctors Without Borders is sending staff members to a Syrian hospital after the disaster and Turkey’s Tumed (Turkish-American Medical Association) is raising funds.
Earthquake experts say the area where the two tremors occurred has been a hot spot for quakes for centuries, including a massive quake that flattened the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo in 1138. Steckler says the area is a “pretty busy and complicated” region where the Arabian, Anatolian and African plates are sliding past each other.
But he cautions that some of the buildings in this area may have been built before building codes were put in place, and that they may not be as sturdy as those built in other parts of Turkey. It’s a challenge for Turkish officials to make sure all buildings are compliant with modern safety measures.
The US government is assessing how it can assist Turkey and other countries in its emergency response. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that President Joe Biden had directed the administration to work with local governments, humanitarian agencies, and other partners to determine how best to provide aid to the most vulnerable.