A new 5.2 magnitude earthquake shakes Turkey

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday, killing at least one person and trapping others in collapsed buildings, three weeks after a devastating tremor struck the same region, killing more than 50,000 people in the country and neighboring Syria.

The latest tremor happened just after noon on Monday, south of the city of Malatya United States Geological Survey. Malatya is the capital of the province of the same name, one of 11 Turkish regions affected by the February 6 quake.

Yunus Sezer, the head of Turkey’s civil protection agency, said at least one person was killed and 69 injured in the latest quake. He urged people in the affected region not to enter damaged buildings for fear of aftershocks or further collapse. The agency said that 29 buildings collapsed in Malatya and that five people were rescued from the rubble. Rescuers also searched for survivors in seven other buildings.

A previously damaged building collapsed, trapping in the rubble a father and daughter who had returned to their home to collect their belongings in the town of Yesilyurt, near the epicenter of the new quake, according to Haberturk TV, which is covered by the scene was aired. Both father and daughter were later rescued.

In the town of Dulkadiroglu in the hard-hit Kahramanmaras province, six workers who had returned to their metal workshop to get kitchen utensils were still inside when the quake hit, Haberturk said. One of the men was killed, four others were injured and one escaped unharmed.

Monday’s tremor was the last to shake the fault-ridden region since the powerful 7.8-magnitude tremor on February 6, followed hours later by a powerful aftershock. The original earthquake and aftershocks devastated the region, collapsing more than 100,000 buildings and leaving more than a million people homeless in Turkey alone.

The quake also devastated communities across the border in Syria, hitting an area where 12 years of civil war had already damaged many buildings and was already home to millions of displaced people in a humanitarian crisis.

The total death toll has been rising steadily over the past three weeks, topping 50,000 in Syria and Turkey on Monday. Turkey, where the original earthquake was centered, has reported 44,374 deaths, according to the United Nations, and Syria’s death toll is at least 6,000.

In Turkey, the quake has prompted an intense scrutiny of building practices and government controls to ensure structures can withstand the tremors. The government has investigated more than 550 people suspected of being linked to collapsed buildings and some have been arrested.

Residents in the quake area have also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government for bringing rescue workers too late to affected areas to pull survivors from the rubble and help displaced families.

In Syria, the earthquake response has been hampered by divided control areas created by the country’s civil war. The affected area included the cities of Aleppo and Latakia, which are under President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian government, as well as areas controlled by Turkish-backed forces that have attempted to overthrow the president.

Aid, even from the United Nations, has been slow to reach the rebel-held parts of Syria, but the hardship has helped unfreeze ties, at least temporarily, between Mr al-Assad and some of his Arab neighbors.

Much of the West sees Mr al-Assad as an outcast in relation to the government’s actions in the civil war, including using chemical weapons against its own people, imposing starvation sieges and conducting indiscriminate bombing raids on residential areas.

Most Arab countries also severed ties with Mr al-Assad early in the war, and some actively supported the rebels who wanted to end his regime. But some of these countries have repaired ties and even sent officials to visit Mr al-Assad following the quake’s aftermath.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry of Egypt met with Mr al-Assad in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, the first such trip by Egypt’s top diplomats since the war in Syria began in 2011.

“The aim of the visit is primarily humanitarian and to pass on our solidarity – from the leadership, the government and the Egyptian people to the Syrian people,” Mr Shoukry told reporters.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/27/world/middleeast/turkey-earthquake.html A new 5.2 magnitude earthquake shakes Turkey


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