In recent years, several earthquakes have devastated different parts of the globe. Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement along tectonic plates within the surface of earth. These movements release energy in the form of seismic waves that cause the earth's surface to shake. These geological events disrupt lives and economies, standing as stark reminders of the need for earthquake preparedness. Let's take a look at the top earthquake-prone countries across the world and understand their vulnerabilities. The World's 10 Most Earthquake-prone Countries Japan Japan occupies a precarious position in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc characterized by fault lines and volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean basin. This is the convergence of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, Philippine, Okhotsk, and Eurasian. The primary reason behind Japan's seismic vulnerability is the collision and subduction of these tectonic slabs. The Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American Plate, creating deep ocean trenches and mountain ranges. Read more Earthquake Safety Tips for Parents to Keep Children Safe The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.1, triggered a devastating tsunami, claiming around 19,759 lives. The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, measuring magnitude 7, caused about 273 fatalities.
Another light earthquake jolted parts of Dhaka today (September 17, 2023), just six days after a mild tremor. The earthquake, measuring 4.2 magnitude on the Richter Scale, was felt at 12:49 pm -- lasted only for a few seconds, according to a Bangladesh Meteorological Department update signed by Assistant Meteorologist Farzana Sultana. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Tangali district, 59 km northwest of the BMD Seismic Centre in Dhaka’s Agargaon, it said. Read: Earthquake jolts Sylhet again No casualties were reported. Earlier, on September 9, a mild earthquake jolted parts of Sylhet region. The earthquake, measuring 4.4 magnitude on the Richter Scale, originated in the Cachar district of India's Assam and lasted for a few seconds. Read more: 3.5 magnitude earthquake jolts Sylhet
Earthquakes are natural disasters that can strike without warning and leave devastation in their wake. These powerful tremors can be especially frightening to children. Let’s take a look at some essential earthquake safety tips for parents to ensure their children's safety and well-being. Tips to Keep Children Safe During and After an Earthquake The following guidelines can provide parents with the essential knowledge to keep their children safe during and after earthquakes. Create a Family Emergency Plan Creating a Family Emergency Plan is the foundation of disaster readiness. It involves establishing specific meeting locations within and outside home, ensuring everyone, especially children, knows where to gather during an earthquake or other emergencies. This plan enhances safety and preparedness for your entire family. Read more: Turkey Earthquake: Why Did So Many Buildings Collapse? Educate Your Children Educating children about earthquakes is crucial for their safety. Parents should engage them in open conversations, emphasizing the need to remain calm during seismic events. It is recommended to apply language suited to the age of children to make them understand the situation without inducing undue fear. It will empower them to respond confidently in such situations. Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On Practicing 'Drop, Cover, and Hold On' with children is vital to earthquake preparedness. Parents can teach their kids activities like instinctively dropping to the ground, seeking shelter under sturdy furniture, and holding on during tremors. These simple yet effective techniques can ensure their safety until the earthquake subsides. Identify Safe Zones It would be better to teach children to recognize areas free from hazards. Identifying safe zones within each room is crucial for earthquake safety. Parents may encourage them to stay in these designated safe spots during an earthquake. It will reduce the risk of injury from falling debris or shattered glass. Read more: 6.2 magnitude earthquake shakes part of Philippines southwest of the capital
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his stance for working with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Turkey to a new height. The re-elected president of Turkey said this during a telephone call to PM Hasina at around 11:15 pm on Wednesday (May 31, 2023). The two leaders exchanged greetings and spoke to each other for 10 minutes, according to a press release from PMO Press Wing. Hasina congratulated Erdogan on securing victory at the second round election, where the voter turnout rate was above 86 percent. Read more: What 5 more years of Erdogan's rule means for Turkey She expressed her happiness over her confidence that the people of Turkey would make the right choice, which was proved after the runoff election. PM Hasina reiterated that the People of Bangladesh would remain steadfast to stand by the brotherly people of Turkey at any time of need, as during the February 2023 earthquake. President Erdogan expressed his gratitude that the brotherly people of Bangladesh mentally joined the jubilant people of Turkey at his victory in the second round election. To this end, he thanked the people of Bangladesh and wished to further strengthen the ties between the two peoples. Read more: Turkey's Erdogan retains power, now faces challenges over the economy and earthquake recovery Hasina conveyed her best wishes to Erdogan and his family members and wished continued peace, progress, and prosperity through him to the people of Turkey.
Early in his political career, a devastating earthquake and economic troubles helped propel Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power in Turkey. Two decades later, similar circumstances are putting his leadership at risk. The highly divisive and populist Erdogan is seeking a third consecutive term as president on May 14, after three stints as prime minister, which would extend his rule into a third decade. He already is Turkey’s longest-serving leader. The presidential and parliamentary elections could be the most challenging yet for the 69-year-old Erdogan. Most opinion polls point to a slight lead by his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who heads the secular, center-left Republican People’s Party, or CHP. The outcome of the presidential race could well be determined in a runoff vote May 28. Erdogan is facing a tough test in this election because of public outrage over rising inflation and his handling of the Feb. 6 earthquake in southern Turkey that killed over 50,000 people, leveled cities and left millions without homes. His political adversaries say the government was slow to respond and that its failure to enforce building codes is to blame for the high death toll. Some even point to government malfeasance after a 1999 earthquake in northwestern Turkey near the city of Izmit that killed about 18,000 people, saying that taxes imposed from that disaster were misspent and worsened the effects of this year's quake. Also Read: Erdogan hints Turkey may ratify Finland's NATO membership The political party founded by Erdogan in 2001 came to power amid an economic crisis and the Izmit quake. His Justice and Development Party, or AKP, capitalized on public anger over government mishandling of the disaster, and Erdogan became prime minister in 2003 and has never relinquished leadership of the country. Still, even with resentment directed toward Erdogan over his handling of the February quake and the economy, analysts caution against underestimating him, pointing to his enduring appeal among working- and middle-class religious voters who had long felt alienated by Turkey's former secular and Western-leaning elites. Erdogan's nationalist policies, often confrontational stance against the West and moves that have raised Islam's profile in the country continue to resonate among conservative supporters. They point to an economic boom in the first half of his rule that lifted many people out of poverty, adding that his past successes are proof of his ability to turn things around. “There is an economic crisis in Turkey, we can’t deny it. And yes, this economic crisis has had a huge impact on us,” said Sabit Celik, a 38-year-old shop owner selling cleaning products in Istanbul. “But still, I don’t think anyone else (but Erdogan) can come and fix this.” “I think our salvation is through the (ruling party) again,” he said. Many also point to major infrastructure projects begun during his tenure — highways, bridges, airports, hospitals, and low-income housing. Erdogan himself has conceded that there were shortcomings in the early days of the February earthquake but insisted the situation was quickly brought under control. Since then, he has focused his reelection campaign on reconstructing quake-stricken areas, promising to build 319,000 homes within the year. At rally after rally, he has touted past projects as proof that only his government can restore the region. Erdogan has announced a series of spending measures to bring temporary relief to those hardest-hit by inflation, including raising minimum wages and pensions, enacting measures to allow some people to take early retirement, and providing assistance to consumers for electricity and natural gas. He also has focused on the defense sector, boosting production of drones and fighter jets and building an amphibious landing vessel that the government describes as “the world’s first drone carrier.” “While we were a country that could not even produce pins, an unmanned aerial plane flew above our skies the other day,” said Mustafa Agaoglu, another Erdogan supporter in Istanbul. “We now have our warships, our aircraft carriers, our roads, our bridges, our city hospitals.” Erdogan has timed a host of openings to coincide with the election campaign. Last month, he presided at a ceremony marking the delivery of natural gas from recently discovered Black Sea reserves, offering free gas to households for a month. This week, he announced the discovery of a new oil reserve in the country's southeast, with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day. When he suffered a brief intestinal illness that sidelined him for a few days, he took part via video in an event marking the delivery of fuel to Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. Then, on Sunday, he said Turkey’s intelligence teams had killed the leader of the Islamic State group in a special operation in northern Syria — an announcement that seemed designed to bolster his image as a strong leader. In the upcoming election, six parties have united behind his main opponent, Kilicdaroglu, despite their disparate political views. The coalition, known as the Nation Alliance, has vowed to reverse the democratic backsliding and crackdowns on free speech and dissent under Erdogan, seeking to scrap the powerful presidential system he introduced that concentrates vast authority in his hands. As in previous years, Erdogan has waged a bitter campaign, lashing out at Kilicdaroglu and other opponents. He accused them of colluding with what he calls terrorists. This year, he has also tried to disparage the opposition by saying it supported “deviant” LGBTQ+ rights that he says threaten Turkey's “sacred family structure.” On Monday, he portrayed the election as a “choice between two futures.” “Either we will elect those who take care of the family institution, which is the main pillar of society, or those who have the support of deviant minds that are hostile to the family,” Erdogan said. He has expanded his alliance with two nationalist parties to include two small Islamist parties that call for amendments to a law protecting women against violence, arguing it encourages divorce. Opposition parties again are complaining of an uneven playing field during the campaign, accusing Erdogan of using state resources as well as his government's overwhelming control over the media. Some also are questioning whether Erdogan would agree to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose. In 2019, Erdogan challenged the results of a local election in Istanbul after his ruling party lost the mayoral seat there, only to suffer an even more embarrassing defeat in a second balloting.
A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled much of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday, sending panicked residents fleeing from homes and offices and frightening people in remote villages. At least 11 people died in the two countries. More than 100 people were brought to hospitals in the Swat valley region of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in a state of shock, Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan's emergency services told The Associated Press. “These terrified people collapsed, and some of them collapsed because of the shock of the earthquake,” he said. Faizi said most were later discharged from the hospital. Faizi and other officials said nine people were killed when roofs collapsed in various parts of northwestern Pakistan. Dozens of others were injured in the quake, which was centered in Afghanistan and also felt in bordering Tajikistan. The earthquake triggered landslides in some of the mountainous areas, disrupting traffic. Also Read: 6.5 magnitude quake rattles Afghanistan, Pakistan Taimoor Khan, a spokesman for the provincial disaster management authority in the northwest, said at least 19 mudbrick homes collapsed in remote areas. “We are still collecting data about the damages,” he said. The powerful tremors sent many people fleeing their homes and offices in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad, some reciting verses from the Quran, Islam's holy book. Media reports suggested cracks had appeared in some apartment buildings in the city. In Afghanistan, Sharafat Zaman Amar, Taliban’s appointed spokesman for the public health ministry said, so far at least two people died and around 20 others were injured in the earthquake in Afghanistan. Zaman Amar said “Unfortunately, there could be more casualties as the quake was so powerful, in most parts of the country” all hospitals and health facilities are ready to save lives of people, he added. The scene was repeated in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan. "The quake was so strong and terrifying, we thought houses are collapsing on us, people were all shouting and were shocked,” said Shafiullah Azimi, a Kabul resident. Aziz Ahmad, 45, another Kabul resident, said “In my life this was first time I have experienced such powerful quake, everyone was terrified,” He added he and all his neighbors stayed out of their homes for hours, afraid of aftershocks. “We couldn't dare to get back homes." The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude 6.5 quake was 40 kilometers (25 miles) south-southeast of Jurm in Afghanistan's mountainous Hindukush region, bordering Pakistan and Tajikistan. The quake struck 188 kilometers (116 miles) deep below the Earth's surface, causing it to felt over a wide area. Physician Rakhshinda Tauseed was at her hospital in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore when the earthquake hit. “I quickly asked patients to go move to a safer place,” she said. Khurram Shahzad, a resident in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi, said he was having dinner with his family at a restaurant when the walls started swaying. “I quickly thought that it is a big one, and we left the restaurant and came out,” he told The Associated Press by phone. He said he saw hundreds of people standing on the streets. The situation was similar in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on the border with Afghanistan, where people were seen standing outside their homes and offices. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a statement said he asked disaster management officials to remain vigilant to handle any situation. Zabihullah Mujahid, the main spokesman for the Taliban government in Afghanistan, tweeted that the Ministry of Public Health had ordered all health centers to be on standby. The region is prone to violent seismic upheavals. A magnitude 7.6 quake in 2005 killed thousands of people in Pakistan and Kashmir. Last year in southeastern Afghanistan, a 6.1 magnitude quake struck a rugged, mountainous region, flattening stone and mud-brick homes. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers put the total death toll from the quake at 1,150, with hundreds more injured, while the U.N. has offered a lower estimate of 770.
The death toll from the massive earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6 continues to rise as more bodies are retrieved from the rubble of demolished buildings. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck the already battered province of Hatay this week damaged or demolished more buildings, compounding the devastation. Here’s a look at the key developments Thursday from the aftermath of the earthquake. DEATH TOLL TOPS 47,000 Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has raised the number of fatalities in Turkey from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake to 43,556. The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria now stands at 47,244. Read: 6.8 earthquake shakes lightly populated part of Tajikistan In an interview with state broadcaster TRT late on Wednesday, Soylu said teams were sifting through two buildings in hard-hit Hatay province in search of further bodies. Search operations elsewhere have come to an end, he said. Meanwhile, at least 164,000 buildings have either collapsed or are so damaged that they need to be demolished, said Murat Kurum, Turkey’s minister for the environment and urbanization. SYRIANS SHELTER IN TENTS AND CARS The local civil defense in northwestern Syria, known locally as The White Helmets, said Thursday that thousands of children and tens of thousands of families have taken shelter in cars and tents “fearing they would face a repeat of the earthquake.” In government-held Syria, a first plane from Bahrain loaded with aid landed in Damascus. The Gulf monarchy is among many Arab countries that in recent years have tried to thaw relations with President Bashar Assad, after shunning him in 2011 for his brutal crackdown on protesters. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two key U.S. allies in the region, have also delivered aid.
The death toll in Turkey and Syria rose to eight in a new and powerful earthquake that struck two weeks after a devastating temblor killed nearly 45,000 people, authorities and media said on Tuesday. Turkey’s disaster management authority said six people were killed and 294 others were injured with 18 in critical condition after Monday’s 6.4-magnitude quake. In Syria, a woman and a girl died as a result of panic during the earthquake in the provinces of Hama and Tartus, pro-government media outlets said. The earthquake’s epicenter was in the town of Defne, in Turkey’s Hatay province, which borders Syria. It was also felt in Jordan, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and as far away as Egypt, and followed by a second, magnitude 5.8 temblor, and dozens of aftershocks. Hatay was one of the worst-hit provinces in Turkey in the magnitude 7.8 quake that struck on Feb. 6. Thousands of buildings were destroyed in the province and Monday’s quake further damaged buildings. The governor’s office in Antakya, Hatay’s historic heart, was also damaged. Officials have warned quake victims to not go into the remains of their homes, but people have done so to retrieve what they can. They were caught up in the new quake. The majority of deaths in the massive February 6 quake, which was followed by a 7.5 temblor nine hours later, were in Turkey with at least 41,156 people killed. The epicenter was in southern Kahramanmaras province. Authorities said more than 110,000 buildings across 11 quake-hit Turkish provinces were either destroyed or so severely damaged that they need to be torn down. In government-held Syria, a girl died in the western town of Safita, Al-Watan daily reported while a woman was killed in the central city of Hama that was already affected by the Feb. 6 earthquake, Sham FM radio station said. The White Helmets, northwest Syria’s civil defense organization, said about 190 people suffered different injuries in rebel-held northwest Syria mostly cases or broken bones and bruises. It said that several flimsy buildings collapsed, adding that there were no cases in which people were stuck under the rubble.
Two major earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and later 7.5 killed thousands of people in southern Turkey and northern Syria, destroying almost all buildings to the ground. The published photos and videos are shocking. While a huge number of buildings collapsed in Turkey, other similar buildings remain standing. The collapsed buildings include the newly built apartment blocks too, which were earthquake-proof. However, according to the building code, all structures should maintain construction standards. That being said, either all of the structures should collapse, or all of them should remain standing. But why were some buildings affected and some neighboring buildings did not face any problems? This occurrence raised questions about the maintenance of building safety standards and triggers corruption. Let’s find out the reasons why so many buildings collapsed in Turkey's earthquake. Read More: Earthquake Safety: Do’s and Don’ts during an Earthquake What Experts Say Earthquake engineers at the University of Buffalo suggest that behind the seemingly random occurrence of collapses, there are likely some underlying causes. Extreme shaking from earthquakes like the Feb. 6, magnitude 7.8, and magnitude 7.5 can lead to a building's collapse. This is due to various factors, including shaking intensity and duration, building design and detailing, construction quality, construction documents, soil conditions, construction oversight, and structural modifications. Andrew Whittaker, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, explains these contributing elements. In the United States, modern reinforced concrete buildings are designed to tolerate damage in the event of severe earthquake shaking and will not collapse. This same philosophy has been adopted in many other countries, and Turkey is not an exception. Nonetheless, these buildings may still collapse if the construction quality is poor, design errors have been made, the shaking is more intense than expected, or a combination of these factors has been present. These brought up so many questions, and the BBC started investigating to find out the answer. Read More: Post-Earthquake Cautions: Do’s & Don’ts
A couple and their son were pulled alive from under a collapsed apartment building more than 12 days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake ravaged parts of Turkey and Syria, although the child later died at a hospital, Turkish state media reported Saturday. A foreign search team from Kyrgyzstan rescued Samir Muhammed Accar, 49, his wife, Ragda, 40, and their 12-year-old son while digging through the rubble of the apartment building in the southern Turkish city of Antakya, the state-run Anadolu news agency said. They were removed at about 11:30 a.m. local time (8:30 GMT), or 296 hours after the Feb. 6 quake, and quickly transferred to ambulances. TV footage showing medics fixing an IV drip to the man’s arm as he lay on a stretcher. One of the Kyrgyz rescuers said the team also found the bodies of two dead children. Anadolu later reported they also were the children of Samir Muhammad and Ragda Accar. Also Read: Turkish teen filmed ‘last moments’ from quake-hit apartment During a visit to Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the father was conscious and being treated at Mustafa Kemal University Hospital. Anadolu published photos showing American TV personality and former U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz visiting the recovering man. Reporting on their conversation, Anadolu said Samir Muhammed Accar described how he survived the ordeal by drinking his own urine. He also told Dr. Oz that his children responded to his voice for the first two or three days but he heard nothing from after that. Hatay province, where Antakya is located, was one of areas hit hardest by the earthquake, which killed at least 40,642 people in Turkey and 3,688 in Syria. Search and rescue operations are continuing in Turkey, although the head of the country’s disaster response agency said they would end on Sunday.