OAN Shannon Kelland
11:27 AM PT – Monday, February 20, 2023
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay on Monday morning and was followed by a 5.8 tremor just two weeks after the region already suffered powerful twin earthquakes.
This earthquake was smaller in magnitude compared to the two initial quakes at 7.8 and 7.5 leaving mass destruction through southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th.
According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the geological event struck at a depth of 1.2 miles (two km) potentially magnifying its impact at ground level.
It was most forceful near the southern Turkish city of Antakya but was also reportedly felt in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon.
Reuters news agency reported that there had been further damage to buildings in Antakya.
Turkish authorities have recorded more than 6,000 aftershocks since the initial earthquake hit. However, BBC team in the region said today’s tremor felt much stronger than previous ones.
Those who had remained in Hatay for two weeks after the first quakes struck didn’t do so out of choice. People remaining in the region are doing so out of fear of losing their homes entirely, or because they have nowhere else to go despite a lack of power and running water.
On Monday, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority AFAD had said that the death toll from the quakes two weeks ago rose to 41,156 in Turkey, and it that was expected to climb further.
Currently, there are 385,000 apartments known to have been destroyed or seriously damaged and many people still missing.
There are about 356,000 pregnant women reported of urgently needing access to health services, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) has said.
The UNFPA reported a total of approximately 38,800 women who are expected deliver in the next month. Many of them were sheltering in camps or exposed to freezing temperatures and struggling to get food or clean water.
Anthony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, has pledged an additional 83 million Pounds in aid (approximately 100 million USD) to Turkey and Syria on top of the 71 million Pounds (approximately 85 million USD) pledged by President Joe Biden.