Kahramanmaras earthquake

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria

On the 6th February 2023 an Earthquake hit central Turkey and Western Syria. Many people were injured and buildings damaged. Read on to learn more about the earthquake and how you can help those affected.  

Emergency workers on the ground in Turkey.

What is an Earthquake?

Earthquakes are a natural disaster that happen when ground suddenly shakes.

They happen when two large pieces of the Earth’s crust (called Tectonic plates) suddenly slip. This means they are more common in countries that are on the edge of tectonic plates.

Scientists use a scale to measure how strong an earthquake is. This scale measures the energy that is released by the earthquake which makes it very accurate. Take a look at the table on the right to understand more about the effects of different magnitudes.

A table to show the strength of different earthquakes.

What were the effects of the Earthquake in Syria and Turkey?

The Earthquake in Syria and Turkey was of magnitude 7.8, meaning that it was a strong earthquake and caused a lot of damage.

When the ground shakes and buildings collapse, people can get quite badly injured, and they may even die.

It is thought that about 6,500 buildings have collapsed as a result of this earthquake and many thousands of people across Syria and Turkey died. On top of this, many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and have found themselves sleeping outside or in their cars in freezing winter temperatures and don’t have access to warm and dry clothes or food.

A building destroyed by the earthquake in Turkey/Syria.

How can people like you help?

If you want to do something to help, the power is in your hands to help make a difference.

You can:

  • Raise money for Unicef who are helping provide medical treatment for injured people, shelter for those who have lost their homes, and winter kits with blankets, and warm clothes and ensuring people have food and clean water. 
  • Donate items such as warm clothes, blankets and long-life food to those affected by the earthquake. There are lots of places to donate all over the UK so there is bound to be one near you! Ask a grown up to help you search online to find the nearest one. You could type something like ‘Turkey Syria Earthquake donation point [insert your home town]’ into Google.
  • Do an assembly to tell your classmates about the Earthquake and encourage them to donate and raise money for people affected. You can use this page to help you gather facts and information.

Relevant SDG:

If you’d like to learn more about natural disasters, check out the page on UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).