Turkey earthquakes accounted for most deaths in 2023 natural disasters: study

Mesut Hancer holds the hand of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak, who died in the earthquake in Kahramanmaras, close to the quake's epicentre, the day after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country's southeast, on February 7, 2023. - Rescuers in Turkey and Syria braved frigid weather, aftershocks and collapsing buildings, as they dug for survivors buried by an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people. Some of the heaviest devastation occurred near the quake's epicentre between Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, a city of two million where entire blocks now lie in ruins under gathering snow. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP)

A recent study by a German insurance company revealed that 74,000 people died globally in natural disasters in 2023, with most deaths occurring because of the February 6 earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reported

According to Munich Re’s annual report on natural disasters, the earthquakes not only resulted in a high death toll, but also $50 million in financial losses. The earthquakes were recorded as the most damaging natural disaster of the year globally. 

Turkey’s most powerful earthquake in almost 100 years, which struck near the city of Gaziantep in the early hours of February 6, claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people in Turkey and neighboring Syria in addition to injuring more than 100,000. Close to 220,000 disaster victims were evacuated from the region, according to official figures. Millions homeless of people were left homeless because of the disaster.

Victims are still grappling with restricted access to electricity, clean water, healthcare, public transportation and schools. While many are continuing to live in tent cities, there have been reports of flooding during heavy rains, disease outbreaks and lax security. Residents have complained to authorities that tent cities are appropriate neither for the hot summer months nor the cold and wet winter months. 

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!