Why has this earthquake been so deadly?
The first earthquake was huge, registering at 7.8 magnitude and classified by officials as being ‘major’ in scale. The magnitude, the depth, proximity to inhabited areas, soil condition and building infrastructure, plus the likelihood of subsequent tsunamis and landslides, all play a part in determining how destructive an earthquake will be.
The Turkish-Syrian earthquake broke along a huge 62 mile fault line, and caused immediate destruction to infrastructure. Tremors were felt by millions of people, some of which were more than 1,000km away.
The time of day that the earthquake struck is also a contributing factor in the devastation as most people were either asleep or inside at the time causing many to become trapped in collapsed buildings and rubble.
The current weather conditions in the region have also complicated rescue efforts as well as the safety of survivors. “Because of the cold rain and snow on the ground, we soon started filtering inside, but then there was another major aftershock. This is a dilemma many people have been in… We cannot stay outside all day but it is not safe indoors,” said one survivor to The Guardian.
Adding: “Around 8am, I managed to get a taxi, the driver wasn’t charging a fare and in the backseat were his mother and wife, they were just driving round with him all day.”