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Map showing scale of earthquake in Turkey and Syria if it had impacted the UK

What happened in Turkey and Syria?

Powerful earthquakes have ravaged southern Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and northern Syria, killing more than 50,000 people and damaging 66,000 buildings.

Homes have been destroyed or left unsafe and people have been sleeping in the open. The freezing temperatures create an immediate risk to life for people who are too afraid to return home or have no home to go back to.

In northwest Syria many buildings were already damaged by years of civil war, and that’s where some of the worst damage has been reported.

With 3 million people already displaced by the war, Syria is at breaking point. Families are facing harsh living conditions, freezing temperatures and diseases like cholera. They have faced the destruction of war, only to be hit again by these events.

How is ShelterBox Helping?

ShelterBox is supporting 18,800 people in Turkiye and Syria with aid.

In Türkiye ShelterBox is supplying emergency tents and other essential items like blankets, mattresses, stoves and lighting.

In Syria we’re supplying tents, high thermal blankets, mattresses, solar lights and water carriers through our partner, Bahar.

We’re also distributing blankets, mattresses and winter coats for children in Syria through our partner, ReliefAid.

ShelterBox emergency response teams are in Gaziantep, one of many cities in Türkiye left devastated by the earthquakes.

Getting aid into Türkiye and Syria is complicated and it can be time-consuming. But we are used to working in challenging environments and we are determined to overcome every hurdle. We will work with local authorities, partners, and Rotary, to make sure people affected by the earthquakes get the aid they need.

Please donate today. Your support will provide emergency shelter for families affected by disasters around the world.

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Your Questions Answered

Where is the earthquake in Turkey?

The initial 7.8m earthquake struck southern Türkiye (formerly Turkey), close to the northern Syria border.

The epicentre was about 20 miles from Gaziantep – a major city and provincial capital .

5,700 aftershocks have been reported, including a strong 6.7m earthquake minutes after the first earthquake . A third struck the same region hours later as the rescue effort was well underway.

turkey earthquake map
Map of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria
When did the earthquake hit Turkey?

The first devastating earthquake struck southern Türkiye (formerly Turkey) at 4:17am local time (1:17am GMT)  on 6 February 2023. 

A powerful aftershock of 6.7 magnitude hit just minutes after the first earthquake .

On Monday 20 February 2023, another 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the same region at 8:04pm local time (5:04pm GMT). It was followed three minutes later by a 5.8m aftershock.

Are earthquakes common in Turkey and Syria?

This region is one of the world’s most active seismic zones and earthquakes are frequently reported.

The 7.4m Izmir earthquake in 1999 killed over 17,000 people. Officials have repeatedly warned of such events.

Who has been affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria?

The death toll in Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and Syria is over 50,000, and rising every day.

More than 66,000 buildings have collapsed or been damaged and over 100,000 people have been injured. The need is vast and growing. People are homeless and out in the open in the middle of freezing winter conditions.

Before the earthquakes, 4.1 million people in Northwest Syria were in need of humanitarian assistance – mostly women and children. They have faced the destruction of war and have now been hit again by these events.

“Getting support into Northwest Syria is very difficult at the moment. The already limited supply routes are now damaged, and the political situation is complex. The people in the affected regions will be exhausted following years of conflict. We have extensive experience in supporting people in these areas with distributions of winter aid having recently been completed, but more will be needed.”

– Alice Jefferson, Head of Emergency Response for ShelterBox

How can I help people affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria?

There are several ways you can help people affected by disasters like the earthquakes in Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and Syria.

1. Donate to a charity like ShelterBox

2. Raise awareness on social media or by talking about the disaster with your friends and family

3. Stand with people who have lost their homes in Turkey, Syria and beyond. Learn about some of the world’s hidden crises and share it with your network.


Where will my donation go?

When giving to ShelterBox you are contributing to a general donation fund.

Your support today will contribute to our Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and Syria Earthquakes response as part of our General Fund. We believe that the best way for us to be impactful is by staying flexible, and it is essential that we have funds available to support those affected by disasters around the world.

Man in Pakistan crouches outside his home destroyed by flooding

Disasters Don’t Stop

Right now we’re working to support communities in Türkiye, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Somalia and Mozambique.

Your support helps us go even further.