Devastating earthquakes have rocked the Middle east region, hitting Turkey the hardest, as well as parts of Syria.

At least 1,600 people are dead, but that number is expected to climb much higher.


A huge earthquake killed about 1,700 people and injured thousands more on Monday in central Turkey and northwest Syria, flattening apartment blocks and heaping more destruction on Syrian cities already devastated by years of war.

The magnitude 7.8 quake, which hit before sunrise in bitter winter weather, was the worst to strike Turkey this century. It was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.

It was not immediately clear how much damage had been done by the second quake, which like the first was felt across the region and endangered rescuers struggling to pull casualties from the rubble, often using their bare hands to remove masonry.

“We were shaken like a cradle. There were nine of us at home. Two sons of mine are still in the rubble, I’m waiting for them,” said a woman with a broken arm and injuries to her face, speaking in an ambulance near the wreckage of a seven-storey block where she had lived in Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.

The devastation is staggering:

The number of dead is heartbreaking.

In addition, buildings are still crumbling, making the scene even more dangerous:

People are panicked, running for their lives, as buildings crumble around them:

A 2,200 year old castle is now gone:

It looks like as if a nuclear blast hit the city:

And in tragic news, among so many missing, fears are rising that soccer star Christian Atsu is also buried beneath the rubble.

In a bit of good new, a little girl was pulled alive from the rubble:

Seismologist Tyler Metcalf explains what’s likely to happen now:

The big #earthquakes in #Turkey have likely led to destabilization of fault lines across the world. There could be many earthquakes in many areas across the world over the next few to several days. One, a Magnitude ~4.2 just hit Buffalo, NY.

He based his tweet off a study published by Science News:

The findings, published Aug. 2 in Nature Scientific Reports, are an important step toward improved short-term earthquake forecasting and risk assessment.

Scientists at Oregon State University looked at 44 years of seismic data and found clear evidence that temblors of magnitude 6.5 or larger trigger other quakes of magnitude 5.0 or larger.
It had been thought that aftershocks — smaller magnitude quakes that occur in the same region as the initial quake as the surrounding crust adjusts after the fault perturbation — and smaller earthquakes at great distances — were the main global effects of very large earthquakes.

But the OSU analysis of seismic data from 1973 through 2016 — an analysis that excluded data from aftershock zones — using larger time windows than in previous studies, provided discernible evidence that in the three days following one large quake, other earthquakes were more likely to occur.
Each test case in the study represented a single three-day window “injected” with a large-magnitude (6.5 or greater) earthquake suspected of inducing other quakes, and accompanying each case was a control group of 5,355 three-day periods that didn’t have the quake injection.

“The test cases showed a clearly detectable increase over background rates,” said the study’s corresponding author, Robert O’Malley, a researcher in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences. “Earthquakes are part of a cycle of tectonic stress buildup and release. As fault zones near the end of this seismic cycle, tipping points may be reached and triggering can occur.”
The higher the magnitude, the more likely a quake is to trigger another quake. Higher-magnitude quakes, which have been happening with more frequency in recent years, also seem to be triggered more often than lower-magnitude ones.

A tremblor is most likely to induce another quake within 30 degrees of the original quake’s antipode — the point directly opposite it on the other side of the globe.

This could explain the shockwaves that were felt in Japan:

Not to mention, the Buffalo earthquake this morning:

Also, just 3 weeks ago an earthquake researcher said the lack of big earthquakes lately was likely due to a blockage/buildup of pressure that could erupt in a series of “megaquakes.”

President Erdogan said 5,383 had been injured but he could not predict how much the death toll would rise as search and rescue efforts continued. He added that 2,818 buildings had collapsed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been impacted by this devastating earthquake.