Turkey Earthquake 2023: TIMELINE of Biggest Tremors to Hit the Country in Recent Decades

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More than 1,400 people are feared to have died after massive back to back earthquakes struck southern Turkey and Syria, flattening buildings and burying people alive.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the region at 04:17 am local time at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles). This was immediately followed by a magnitude 6.7 aftershock. However, a third earthquake of magnitude 7.5 hit the region hours later, crippling rescue efforts and causing more deaths and destruction.

People looking for their loved ones in the rubble. Twitter

While early estimates say nearly 500 people have died in Syria, the death toll in Turkey has been estimated to be around 1,000. The numbers are likely to go up as rescue teams are still assessing damage from possibly the most powerful earthquake to hit the region in over a century.

The last biggest earthquake to hit Turkey was the magnitude 7.4 tremor that killed more than 17,000 people in the region of Duzce in 1999.

The last time a 7.8-magnitude tremor shook Turkey, as many as 33,000 had died. This tremor happened in 1939 in the eastern Erzincan province.

Here's a Look at Some of the Biggest Earthquakes in Turkey:

1. The most disastrous earthquake to hit Turkey in recent decades was the magnitude 7.8 tremor that struck the city of Erzincan in 1939. The tremor shook the city at 1:57 am, toppling buildings and killing people who were asleep at home. More than 33,000 people were killed in the quake. The entire city was rendered uninhabitable after the quake, according to TRT World.

2. In February 1944, a powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake shook the towns around the Anatolian fault line. This earthquake killed at least 2,790 people and destroyed 50,000 houses. The earthquake hit the region just around daybreak.

Turkey earthquake
Dust engulfs the surroundings as another multistoried building is seen collapsing in Turkey as the country was hit by a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake Twitter

3. In May 1971, Turkish city of Bingol was hit by a 6.9 magnitude tremor that nearly destroyed the city. More than 1,000 people died in the aftermath of the quake, while more than 90 percent of the buildings in the city were destroyed.

4. In August 1999, Izmit suffered a magnitude 7.6 earthquake. This happened after midnight, killing people in their sleep. More than 17,000 people died and more than 50,000 were injured.

5. In October 2011, the city of Van witnessed the biggest earthquake in the last decade. The magnitude 7.2 quake killed more than 600 people and injured 2,000.

6. In January 2020, as many as 40 people died when an earthquake hit Elazig, in the eastern part of the city. It also injured 1,600 people.

This article was first published on February 6, 2023