Currently — February 8th, 2023

What you need to know, currently.

An intense 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria early Monday morning.

Another quake with a magnitude of 7.7 shook the region a few hours later. Both seismic events killed more than 5,000 people and destroyed more than 6,600 buildings in the region. Survivors are left unhoused amid freezing weather, as more than 100 aftershocks have struck the region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was his country’s worst disaster in decades.

Unfortunately, Turkey is no stranger to earthquakes, as it sits along tectonic plate boundaries. Two tectonic plates, the Arabian and the Eurasian, meet underneath the country’s southeastern provinces. Sometimes, when plates are touching, they slide sideways all of a sudden, which is referred to as a “strike slip.”

Climate change might also have a small effect on earthquakes. As the average temperatures rise, huge ice sheets melt, shifting billions of tons of water from exposed land into the ocean. This makes land masses rebound, which could have seismic consequences, though signals and evidence have yet to emerge.

Some earthquakes are also man-made, as people quickly drawing water from underground reservoirs has been shown to cause quakes in cities like Jakarta.

—Aarohi Sheth

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