Devastating Earthquakes in Syria and Turkey


Michael Assioun '27

After following the continuous earthquakes in Syria and Turkey over the past month, I decided to write an article about it. Having many ancestors from Syria, I know and have seen more than the average person scrolling on his phone to find out what happened. I hope you enjoy this article and that you don’t get too emotional about it.


Before we get emotional, let’s talk about the geographic part of it. Most of Turkey is on the Anatolian plate, but about a quarter of it is on the Arabian plate, which is the same plate that Syria is on. Turkey is very earthquake-prone because it also borders many other plates that commonly move around. Turkey had 24 earthquakes before 1900 and 63 from 1900 until now. More than 50,000 people have died from the earthquakes. 70,000 have been injured. At least 160,000 buildings have been either partially or fully collapsed.


Both of my parents are from Syria, so it really touched my heart when I saw all of the people being rescued. However, my heart was also broken after hearing about families with missing children and watching videos of buildings in Syria simply collapsing. I remember watching a video of a father giving his child water, unable to get him out of the rocks he was stuck between. There was another video where a very young boy was wrapping his body around his little sister as they were under the rocks. The only way this video was taken was because someone had slipped their phone under the rocks to see what was happening. My dad’s aunt, who lives in Syria, said her building was shaking and she fell out of her bed while her clothing fell out of her drawers. There was a certain video that really made me upset. There were many buildings, side by side, and as soon as one would collapse and fall, the others would too, like it was dominos. With the war in Syria, you would think it couldn’t get worse, but it just did.


Fortunately, the world has been working together to help bring Syria and Turkey back to how they were before. More than 9,000 volunteers from the Red Cross have helped and the World Bank has gathered nearly 1.8 billion dollars for the casualties. Many soccer players have stepped in and donated to Syria and Turkey. Lionel Messi donated 3.5 million euros and Enner Valencia (Ecuador’s main man in the World Cup) bought mattresses, tents, and supplies to help. People like Shakira, BTS, J-LO, Mark Ruffalo, and Antonio Banderas have all hyped up their fans to help raise money for the earthquakes. While I’m deeply saddened by what has happened, I’m glad that the world has reacted well. 


We live in a world where money is the most important thing. A country always wants to have the most power. However, when something like this happens, it’s good to see the world come together.