Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: overview and advice for travellers

Travellers are reminded of health risks if travelling to areas affected by the earthquakes
Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: overview and advice for travellers

On 6 February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Gaziantep and neighbouring provinces in the south-east of Turkey [1]. On the same day a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the neighbouring province of Kahramanmaras. There have been several strong aftershocks [1].

The Turkish government has announced a national emergency in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake [2]. These are the provinces of Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Malatya, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Sanliurfa, Adiyaman, Hatay, Osmaniye and Adana. Significant numbers of people have lost their lives, and many thousands have been evacuated from the affected areas [3].

Across Syria, 8.8 million people are affected in 43 districts [5]. The most affected areas include Aleppo governorate and Idilib governorate in Northern Syria [5].

Huge destruction is reported in the affected areas in both countries causing damage and disruption to major infrastructures, including health care facilities and to resources such as provision of drinking water, electricity and food supplies. The risk of subsequent tremors, harsh winter conditions and potential spread of infectious diseases are hampering the relief efforts [2, 4, 5].

Advice for travellers

For general information and for advice relating to natural disasters and safety and security, we advise you to follow advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). You can also subscribe to updates from FCDO to stay up to date with their current advice.

Although you may feel compelled to travel to provide help in areas of humanitarian crisis, we recommend against travelling independently and advise you to contact appropriate aid/charity agencies for guidance and options for deployment.

The Turkish government has stated that only vehicles which carry aid teams and aid materials will be allowed to enter cities deemed to be inside the area of the disaster. If you are in the affected area, you should exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities [1]. The FCDO currently advise against all travel to Syria [6].

If you must travel to the affected areas:


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