A Year Since the 2023 Kahramanmaraş Earthquake Sequence: LFE Response

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating Kahramanmaraş earthquake sequence in Turkey. At 4:17 AM on February 6, 2023, a M7.8 earthquake struck near the border of Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep provinces, followed by a M7.5 earthquake nine hours later and 95 kilometers to the northeast. The earthquake sequence caused devastating impacts across a wide region of southern Turkey and Northern Syria, killing some 60,000 people and leaving millions more displaced. The EERI community extends our sympathy to all those affected and to the communities that are still in the process of recovering and rebuilding.


Photo: Soft-story damage in Gölbaşı (Robb Moss)

EERI’s Learning From Earthquakes program acted rapidly to organize what became EERI's largest earthquake response since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. EERI held multiple coordination calls for the global reconnaissance community in the weeks after the earthquake, facilitating communication among scientific and technical teams from 14 countries and coordination with the earthquake clearinghouse established in Ankara. LFE also established a virtual clearinghouse to serve as a repository for reconnaissance data and other resources. Many EERI members shared their expertise with media covering the earthquakes.

Just a week after the earthquakes struck, the first joint EERI-GEER advance team flew to Turkey to conduct preliminary reconnaissance, and three more LFE reconnaissance teams followed in March 2023, focusing on impacts to buildings, hospitals, and lifelines. To share the findings, EERI collaborated with StEER on a preliminary virtual reconnaissance report and with GEER on a joint reconnaissance report released three months after the earthquakes. LFE also organized a rapid-response plenary session at the 2023 Annual Meeting and hosted a series of five LFE reconnaissance webinars that can be viewed online here.

A year after the earthquakes, our work to document the impacts and ensure the lessons learned from this event will increase resilience around the world continues. LFE committees are planning and conducting follow-up studies to look at longer-term impacts and recovery. The first papers from the forthcoming Earthquake Spectra special collection are now online and available here. The technical program at EERI’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Seattle will feature a special anniversary programming track developed in cooperation with NEHRP. The call for poster abstracts focused on the Kahramanmaraş Earthquake Sequence is open until February 15.

EERI is grateful to all the members who have contributed to this work, and we thank the donors to the LFE Endowment Fund whose support made this earthquake response possible.

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