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Turkey Earthquake

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Disaster Management/ Geography: Earthquake/ International Relations/ Disaster Relief


Source: IE, Th, DTE, TH

 Direction: This article is in continuation of yesterday’s article on the same issue. Here we will be covering other issues related to Earthquake


Context: South-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, was struck by a powerful Earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter Scale.


Why have the buildings collapsed in the “pancake mode” (like a pack of cards)?

  • Shallow Earthquake: The centre of the quake was just 11 miles ( around 18 Km) beneath the Earth’s surface, making it one of the most damaging earthquakes.
    • Shallower earthquakes can be more destructive.
  • Non-enforcement of safe building construction and non-adherence to seismic building codes: Many of the buildings are already built, and seismic retrofitting may be expensive or not considered a priority compared to other socio-economic challenges of Turkey and Syria


How do Satellites help in Rescue and Recovery efforts during an Earthquake?


  • Satellite imaging enables humanitarian aid to better deliver water and food by mapping the condition of roads, bridges, and buildings, and – most crucially – identifying populations trying to escape potential aftershocks.
  • Radar satellites will complement the imaging information, as they also operate at night and through clouds, image landslides and even very small changes in altitude.
  • Generating Maps: Images are transformed into impact or change maps for rescue workers, flood alert maps for the public, and mapping of burnt or flooded areas with damage estimates for decision-makers.
  • Reconstruction after disasters: Satellite technologies help residents benefit from earthquake-resistant construction, the creation of safe gathering places or relocating living areas to safe locations.
    • “Reconstruction observatories“, have been carried out after major disasters (e.g. Haiti in 2021 and in Beirut after the 2019 port explosion) to monitor reconstruction planning


India’s Proactiveness in Disaster Relief:

  • Turkey (2023): India is sending an Army medical team, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel, and medical supplies
  • Nepal (2015): The NDRF deployed 16 of its urban search and rescue (USAR) teams, which comprised more than 700 rescuers in the country
  • Japan (2011):In the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami, India also sent 46 members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to search and rescue in the town of Onagawa. It was their first overseas operation
  • Sri Lanka (2004, Operation Rainbow): Despite being the victim of the 2004 Tsunami itself, India sent its forces to carry out rescue operations, called “Operation Rainbow”, in Sri Lanka hours after the Tsunami struck the country.



It is not the disaster, but the lack of preparedness for the disaster that kills”. Thus, disaster preparedness is one of the most vital components of disaster management.

Related news:

Turkey invoked the International Charter on “Space and Major Disasters”, just after the Earthquake.


About the International Charter on “Space and Major Disasters”:


The charter was created by the National Space Research Centre and the European Space Agency in 1999, (now has 17-member space agencies). It aims to provide free satellite imagery as quickly as possible over the disaster area.


Insta Links

Know all the basics about Earthquake: Here


Insta Mains:

Q. Examine the vulnerability of India to earthquakes and propose short, medium and long-term actions to alleviate the risks associated. (250 words)

 Discuss the factors that cause earthquakes. Why are Earthquakes more common in certain parts of the world than others? Discuss the role of disaster planning in its management. (15M)


Prelims Links:

Turkey is located between

(a) Black Sea and Caspian Sea

(b) Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea

(c) Gulf of Suez and Mediterranean Sea

(d) Gulf of Aqaba and Dead Sea

Answer: B