Dover Air Force Base, Delaware – A search and rescue team from the Virginia Task Force 1 was deployed from Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday to assist in response efforts in Turkey following the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The U.S. Agency for International Development has also announced that urban search and rescue teams from both Fairfax and Los Angeles County will be deployed to coordinate with Turkish authorities and other responding organizations to provide life-saving assistance.
The earthquake, which occurred on February 6, 2023, had devastating impacts in Turkey and Syria. The government reported that at least 6,444 buildings were destroyed across 10 provinces and at least 16,546 deaths were reported by the Wall Street Journal. Thousands of people are believed to still be trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings across Turkey’s southeast.
The magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred in southern Turkey near the northern border of Syria, approximately nine hours after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake located 95 km to the southwest. The earthquake sequence is consistent with having occurred within the broad East Anatolia fault zone, which accommodates the westward extrusion of Turkey into the Aegean Sea. Only three earthquakes of magnitude 6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the February 6 earthquake sequence since 1970.