The recent earthquake in Turkey and northwest Syria is considered one of the worst to have hit the region in over 80 years. The immediate effects of such natural disasters are devastating, but earthquakes have also been seen as a harbinger of political change or upheaval, often marking the end of ruling dynasties. This article explores the political implications of major earthquakes around the world.

On February 6, 2023, Turkey was hit by a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of over 47,000 people, leaving many more injured, homeless, and traumatized. Two weeks later, on February 20, two more earthquakes hit the region, this time affecting not only Turkey but also Syria. These earthquakes, with a magnitude of 6.3 and 7.8, respectively, have caused further damage and have increased anxiety and panic among the affected population.

Impact of the Earthquakes on the Region

The earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria have caused further destruction in a region that is still reeling from the devastating earthquake that hit just two weeks earlier. The most recent earthquakes have claimed the lives of eight people and left up to 300 injured. The earthquakes have also caused up to a dozen buildings to collapse, adding to the already extensive damage caused by the earlier quake.

The widespread anxiety and panic sparked by the latest tremors has rattled a region that is still coming to terms with the devastation caused earlier this month. Schools and public services were closed in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon on Tuesday, partly to calm people’s nerves.

The earthquakes have left millions of people who fled ruined cities across southern Turkey and northern Syria living in temporary shelters, fearing for their lives.

Factors Contributing to the Devastation

The failure of many buildings to meet earthquake safety standards has been identified as a key factor in the devastation caused by the earthquakes. The earthquakes have highlighted the widespread provision of homes that did not meet earthquake standards, leading to calls for construction standards to be enhanced in Turkey and developing countries around the world.

There are fresh calls for authorities to guarantee safe housing as a human right. “Safe housing is in principle already a human right enshrined in various UN treaties,” said Sara Pantuliano, the chief executive of the global affairs thinktank ODI. “But the evidence of the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria shows only too well that the principle is not the practice. As we’ve seen, unsafe housing means a natural hazard like an earthquake becomes a large-scale tragedy, when this could have been at least partially averted.”

Newborn Baby Rescued from the Rubble

In the midst of the tragedy caused by the earthquakes, a ray of hope emerged in the form of a newborn baby who was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building in Syria. The baby was the only member of her immediate family to survive the massive earthquake, and thousands of people had offered to adopt her.

The baby was discharged from the hospital after a DNA test confirmed her aunt was a blood relative. She was then adopted by her aunt and uncle, who had lost their home in the earthquake.

“This girl means so much to us because there’s no-one left of her family besides this baby,” said the baby’s uncle. “She’ll be a memory for me, for her aunt and for all of our relatives in the village of her mother and father.”

The story of the baby’s rescue and adoption has gone viral on social media, providing a heartwarming moment of hope in the midst of tragedy.

By MPC Journal Team

Middle East Politics and Culture Journal is an independent platform that provides reports and news on political affairs, security and defence, counterterrorism, and culture in the Middle East and North Africa.