A man walks among debris as excavators demolish the remains of a destroyed building following the earthquake in Samandag, southern Turkey, on February 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

On February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Turkey and Syria. This quake was so powerful that it was felt 1200 kilometres away in Cairo, Egypt.

“Disaster of the century”

By late February, almost 50,000 people were confirmed dead, with countless thousands still missing.

Turkey is an earthquake hotspot. It sits on a small tectonic plate that is squeezed on three sides by bigger plates. Despite frequent, violent quakes, many buildings have not been reinforced to withstand the shaking.