M6.3 aftershock hits Turkey-Syria border region, leaving 6 people dead and nearly 800 injured

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A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS and EMSC as M6.3 hit the Turkey-Syria border region at 17:04 UTC on February 20, 2023, at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). AFAD is reporting M6.4. This is an aftershock of the devastating M7.8 earthquake on February 6 in which more than 47 000 people lost their lives and more than 120 000 were injured.

The epicenter of today’s aftershock was located 3.1 km (1.9 miles) WSW of Uzunbağ (population 2 984), 16.2 km (10.1 miles) WSW of Antakya (population 210 000), and 32 km (19.9 miles) SW of Serinyol (population 16 753), Hatay, Turkey.

406 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 351 000 very strong, 470 000 strong and 2 155 000 moderate.

According to AFAD, in Türkiye six people have died, and almost 300 others have been injured (18 of whom were seriously injured). National authorities provided 6 000 tents for the people affected in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports over 470 injured people in Syria.

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Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued an Orange alert for shaking-related fatalities. Significant casualties are likely.

A Red alert was issued for economic losses. Extensive damage is probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Turkey. Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and dressed stone/block masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

More than 4 000 aftershocks were detected following the M7.8 mainshock at 01:17 UTC on February 6, including M6.7 at 01:28 UTC, M7.5 at 10:24 UTC, and M6.0 at 12:02 UTC.

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Turkey-Syria border region earthquakes – 30 days to February 20, 2023. Credit: TW/SAM, Google (data source: USGS)

The death toll reached 47 625 on February 20.

There are now at least 41 156 deaths and 108 068 injured people across 11 most affected provinces in Turkey, including some casualties also in Elazığ and Batman provinces. At least 13.5 million people and 4 million buildings have been affected. About 345 000 apartments were decimated.

Over 6 469 people were killed, and more than 14 500 people were injured in Syria.

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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