A new earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck the Hatay province in the south of Turkey on February 20, followed by a second 5.8 magnitude quake.
As a result of the earthquake, six people died and 294 people were injured. The quake, which struck just as the rescue work from the initial devastating earthquake was winding down, was felt in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon. More than 500 people were injured in northwest Syria.
This comes two weeks after a massive quake killed more than 47,000 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.
The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey has reached 41,020, and in Syria, it has exceeded 5,800. Neither Turkey nor Syria has specified how many people are considered missing. In Turkey, as a result of the earthquake, 105 thousand buildings were partially or completely destroyed and damaged. Hatay is one of the most affected provinces.
More than 430 thousand people have been evacuated from the areas affected by the earthquake. 11,488 rescue teams mobilized from more than 80 countries and continue to work on the ground.
President Tayyip Erdogan said 865,000 people are living in tents and 23,500 in containers, while 376,000 are in student dormitories and public guesthouses outside the earthquake zone.
Erdogan’s government has faced criticism about what many Turks say was a slow response, and over-construction policies that meant thousands of apartment buildings collapsed, trapping victims under the rubble.
“It is our duty to hold the wrongdoers accountable before the law,” Erdogan said.
He faces presidential and parliamentary elections in May, although the disaster could prompt a delay in the vote.