Turkey-Syria earthquakes now among five deadliest quakes in 21st century

Death toll after the 7.8-magnitude has risen to above 45,000, bringing the total toll, including Syria, to about 51,000

By AFP

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Victims sit outside a destroyed building in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Antakya, Hatay province, Turkey. Photo: Reuters
Victims sit outside a destroyed building in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Antakya, Hatay province, Turkey. Photo: Reuters
Workers clean the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Antakya, Hatay province, Turkey, February 21, 2023. Photo: reuters
Workers clean the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Antakya, Hatay province, Turkey, February 21, 2023. Photo: reuters

Published: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 1:28 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 1:59 PM

Tremors still rattle Turkey's south one month after devastating twin earthquakes. With a death toll standing at more than 51,000, the massive earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, and its numerous aftershocks are are among the 5 deadliest in 21st century.

2004: Southeast Asia, 230,000 dead

On December 26, 2004, a massive 9.1-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that kills more than 230,000 people throughout the region, including 170,000 in Indonesia alone.


Waves 30 metres (100 feet) high, travelling at 700 kilometres per hour (435 miles per hour), swallow everything in their path.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

2010: Haiti, 200,000 dead

A magnitude 7 quake on January 12, 2010, devastates the capital Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region.


The quake cuts the country off from the rest of the world for 24 hours, killing more than 200,000 people, leaving 1.5 million homeless and shattering much of Haiti's frail infrastructure.

In October the same year, Haiti is also hit by a cholera epidemic introduced by Nepalese peacekeepers who arrived after the quake. It kills more than 10,000 people.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

2008: Sichuan, 87,000 dead

More than 87,000 people, including thousands of school pupils, are left dead or missing when a 7.9-magnitude quake strikes China's southwestern Sichuan province on May 12, 2008.

The quake causes outrage after it emerges that 7,000 schools were badly damaged, triggering accusations of shoddy construction, corner-cutting and possible corruption, especially as many other buildings nearby held firm.

2005: Kashmir, 73,000 dead

An earthquake on October 8, 2005, kills more than 73,000 people, most in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province and the Pakistani-administered zone of Kashmir.

A further 3.5 million are displaced.

2023: Turkey and Syria, over 50,000 dead

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8-magnitude quake strikes southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria.

The biggest quake in Turkey in nearly a century, which is followed by a 7.5-magnitude tremor, kills more than 50,000, according to a toll revised by AFP on the basis of several sources in late February.

Of the dead, more than 45,000 were in Turkey and around 6,000 in Syria.

An aerial view shows collapsed and damaged buildings following an earthquake in Hatay, Turkey. Photo: Reuters
An aerial view shows collapsed and damaged buildings following an earthquake in Hatay, Turkey. Photo: Reuters

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