This Article First Appeared In Indian Express On Feb 8, 2023
The tremors came before dawn and the earth shook, like never before in living memory. The people of Kahramanmaraş, in southern Turkey, close to the Syrian border, were woken up abruptly, and before their eyes, their homes crashed to the ground. The earth was like the ocean in a tempest as waves rippled outwards, to the south towards Gaziantep and beyond to Aleppo in Syria, to the east towards Diyarbakır and Mardin, to the north towards Malatya, and to the west towards Osmaniye and Adana, bringing death and destruction in its wake to 10 provinces in Turkey and northern Syria. It was a horrific tragedy.
As relief workers and residents searched for survivors under the rubble, the weather was unforgiving, with snow and sleet adding to the misery. Even before people could recover from the first earthquake, which was a massive 7.8 on the Richter scale, there were over 50 aftershocks, with two particularly severe, of 6.7 and 6.0 on the Richter scale, compounding the severity of the calamity. Over 3,300 people have already lost their lives in Turkey and Syria and many more rendered homeless; unfortunately, the toll is expected to rise further.