According to data from AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority), a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred in Türkiye at 4:17 am on 6 February 2023. Eighty-three aftershocks at a maximum level of 6.7 followed the initial earthquake, and an additional separate earthquake of 7.6 occurred at 1:24 pm the following day in the same region.
The additional earthquake has exacerbated the situation and may have caused serious issues in rural hard-to-reach areas in the Toros mountains and inner Anatolia.
The process of damage detection is currently being fulfilled by AFAD and all related official organizations. The epicenter of the earthquake was Pazarcık, district of Kahramanmaraş, and the earthquake occurred seven km below the ground.
The earthquake was also felt in the neighboring cities of Adıyaman, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Malatya, Batman, Bingöl, Elazığ, Mardin, Siirt, Şırnak, Van, Bitlis, Hakkari and Hatay provinces; and the neighboring countries of Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Georgia, and Armenia.
AFAD declared this earthquake as a Level 4 earthquake within the scope of Türkiye Disaster Response Plan. Officials from AFAD also indicated that aftershocks are expected to continue for a long time, perhaps at least a year.
The same officials asked citizens not to enter any damaged buildings and to stay away. Officials also warned against drinking mainline water until further instruction.
The Minister of National Education announced a two-week break from education in Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Adıyaman, and Malatya provinces, and a one-week break in Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Osmaniye and Kilis. This is the second-largest earthquake in Türkiye in the last century and the most significant to strike the country’s southeast region in hundreds of years.
The fact that the earthquake occurred during the early hours of the day, its extensive coverage area, and the harsh winter conditions all contribute to the severity of the humanitarian conditions urgently responding to the needs arising after the earthquake.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, and Adana, the epicenter of a deadly earthquake. He vowed that Türkiye will not leave anyone behind in a time of unity and solidarity, and all resources of the state were mobilized for what he earlier described as the worst disaster in the country.