Flash Appeal: Türkiye Earthquake (February - May 2023) [EN/TR]





This document provides an initial estimate of financial requirements for humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to people impacted by the devastating earthquakes which hit Türkiye on 6 February 2023, in support of the Government-led relief effort. The preliminary appeal includes the requirements of United Nations (UN) agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO). These figures are indicative-only and will be revised in the days ahead as further information becomes available on the situation and response required.

Impact of the Earthquakes

On 6 February 2023, two devastating earthquakes, measuring 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale, struck Pazarcık and Elbistan in Kahramanmaraş, Türkiye. The initial earthquake was followed by over 3,100 aftershocks, including a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit Elbistan, according to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD). Impacts have been felt across the 10 provinces in which a state of emergency has been declared (Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa) and Elazığ, with Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep reportedly hardest hit.

These earthquakes are the largest to hit Türkiye in the last century, and the most significant to strike the country’s south-east region in hundreds of years. The previous three strongest earthquakes to impact the country were: the Gölcük earthquake which shook western Türkiye with a magnitude of 7.6 on 17 August 1999, killing at least 17,118 people and injuring nearly

Population exposure to earthquakes 50,000; the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, which struck eastern Türkiye on 27 December with a magnitude of 7.8, killing at least 32,700 people; and the 1668 North Anatolia earthquake, which remains the most powerful recorded earthquake in Türkiye with an estimated magnitude of 7.8-8.0 on the Richter Scale.

The earthquakes and aftershocks have caused catastrophic devastation, with at least 9.1 million people in the 11 hardest-hit provinces likely to have been directly impacted, based on a calculation of people in areas affected by the Kahramanmaraş and Elbistan earthquakes who were subjected to strong or above effects on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, as calculated by the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Automatic Disaster Analysis and Mapping (ADAM).

By 15 February, more than 35,400 people in Türkiye had lost their lives and tens of thousands were injured, according to AFAD. The earthquakes struck while most people were in their beds sleeping, leaving many trapped inside buildings as they collapsed. More than 105,500 people were injured, according to AFAD, and the death toll is expected to continue to rise in the days ahead as search and rescue operations continue, and recovery operations commence.

The earthquakes hit communities at the peak of winter, leaving hundreds of thousands of people—including small children and the elderly—without access to shelter, food, water, heaters and medical care in freezing cold temperatures. Over 47,000 buildings have been destroyed or damaged, according to AFAD, and thousands of people have sought refuge in makeshift shelters across Türkiye, including schools, mosques, and other temporary shelters allocated by the government, according to CARE. More than 196,000 people had been evacuated from quake-hit areas by 14 February, according to AFAD. Harsh weather, including a possible snowstorm, is forecasted in the days ahead, which will add to the challenges faced by families ravaged by the earthquake, as well as the ability of humanitarian agencies to respond.

Essential services—including schools, hospitals and other medical, maternity and educational facilities— have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes, with children and women particularly impacted. Only one in seven family health centres remain functional (whether fully or partially), according to preliminary assessments by health actors. Over 200,000 pregnant women who need access to maternal health services were living in affected areas, and will have birth under the most difficult circumstances, according to UNFPA. Many families have been separated, with hundreds of children orphaned or unable to be reunited with their parents. Prior to the earthquakes, an estimated 7.9 per cent of females and 5.9 per cent of males in Türkiye were living with disabilities. However, this figure is expected to rise significantly in the aftermath of the disaster and may be closer to the global average of 15 per cent. Some 8 per cent of the 3.3 million households living in the 10 provinces where a state of emergency has been declared are female-headed households with at least one child, while 7 per cent of the population in the ten affected provinces is aged 65 or above and 55 per cent of the elderly population is women.

Türkiye hosts the largest refugee population in the world. In the 11 provinces impacted by the earthquakes, there live more than 1.74 million refugees (Syrians under Temporary Protection and International Protection Applicants and Status holders). In Kilis province, one out of every two people is a refugee. In Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa and Hatay, one out of every four or five people are refugees.

Given the scale and severity of the disaster, Turkiye’s President Erdoğan declared a state of emergency on 7 February 2023, in order for search and rescue operations and the following efforts to be carried out rapidly. The state of emergency covers 10 provinces (Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Kilis, Malatya, Hatay, Adana, Diyarbakır, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa) and will remain in effect for three months.

Considering the massive needs caused by the earthquakes, and the Government’s call for international assistance, this Flash Appeal is being issued to galvanize resources and enable humanitarian organizations to rapidly ramp-up their operations in earthquake-affected areas in support of the Government-led response. Due to the intense and sudden nature of the earthquakes, humanitarian partners have not yet been able to undertake detailed needs assessments, nor prepare comprehensive operational planning. This Flash Appeal therefore provides an initial snapshot of the situation and response requirements. It will be updated and revised in the days and weeks ahead as more in-depth information becomes available on the situation and required response.

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