Death toll from Turkey-Syria earthquake has pushed past 47,000

Building listing to one side after an earthquake
The powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this month has killed more than 47,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of others homeless.
(Emrah Gurel / Associated Press)

The death toll from the massive earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6 has topped 47,000, with bodies continuing to be retrieved from the rubble of demolished buildings.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has raised the number of fatalities in Turkey to 43,556. The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake now stands at 47,244.

In an interview with state broadcaster TRT late Wednesday, Soylu said teams were sifting through two buildings in hard-hit Hatay province in search of more bodies. Search operations elsewhere have come to an end, he said.


At least 164,000 buildings have either collapsed or are so damaged that they need to be demolished, said Murat Kurum, Turkey’s minister for environment and urbanization.

Mervan Ergun lost 14 family members, including his mother, two sisters and a brother, in the massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6.

Feb. 22, 2023

A new, magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Hatay this week and leveled or damaged more structures.

In parts of northwest Syria held by anti-government rebels, the local civil defense team known as the White Helmets said Thursday that tens of thousands of families have taken shelter in cars and tents for fear that “they would face a repeat of the earthquake.”

Meanwhile, in government-held Syria, a plane from Bahrain loaded with aid landed in Damascus, the Syrian capital. Bahrain is among many Arab countries that in recent years have tried to thaw relations with Syrian President Bashar Assad after shunning him in 2011 for his brutal crackdown on protesters.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two key U.S. allies in the region, have also delivered aid to Syria.