Timeline: Turkey hit by most devastating earthquake since 1999

Turkey and Syria hit by magnitude 7.8 quake, the most deadly in Turkey since an earthquake in 1999 that killed 17,500.

People search through rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey February 6, 2023. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People search through rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey, February 6, 2023 [Sertac Kayar/Reuters]

A devastating earthquake and its powerful aftershocks have struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 2,300 people in a 40-second-long tremor that was felt as far as Lebanon and Cyprus.

Rescue teams on Monday were racing to find survivors trapped under tangles of metal and chunks of concrete in cities and towns across the two countries.

Turkey sits on major fault lines and is frequently hit by earthquakes.

Here’s a quick round-up of Turkey’s worst quakes of the past 25 years:


August 1999

A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Marmara, a densely populated region to the south of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, for 45 seconds. Within days, the official death toll stood at 17,500.

November 1999

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the eastern Turkish town of Duzce, causing at least 845 deaths.

INTERACTIVE Turkey Syria earthquake location

May 2003

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the eastern province of Bingol, bringing down a school dormitory. At least 167 people, including 83 children, were killed.

March 2010

At least 42 people were killed after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the eastern province of Elazig.

October 2011

Two earthquakes hit the eastern Turkish city of Van. The first one (magnitude 7.2) struck on October 23 and the second (magnitude 5.6) hit on November 9, claiming 644 lives in total.

January 2020

A magnitude 6.8 quake rocked Elazig, killing at least 41 people and injuring more than 1,000. It was felt also in Syria, Georgia and Armenia.

October 2020

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake levelled buildings in eastern Greece and western Turkey on October 30, killing at least 117 people and injuring nearly 800.

Much of the damage in Turkey occurred in and around the Aegean resort city of Izmir.

February 2023

A powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northwest Syria. At least 1,498 people have been killed and more than 5,000 injured in Turkey.

In Syria, already devastated by more than 11 years of civil war, state media said at least 403 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured, mostly in Hama, Aleppo and Latakia provinces.

In the rebel-held region of northwest Syria, rescuers said 380 people had died.

Source: Al Jazeera