Magnitude-7.8 Earthquake in Turkey and Syria Causes Devastation and Closure of Airports

On the early hours of Monday, February 6th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish and Syrian region causing millions of residents to feel its impact. The death toll from the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks is estimated to be over 1,300.

The earthquake caused widespread damage to the infrastructure across the region with hundreds of buildings and roads being destroyed. Communication services such as internet, power, and cellular were completely disabled in many areas, making it difficult for rescue efforts to take place. The earthquake also resulted in the closure of several major airports, leaving only one open to aircraft carrying relief supplies or airlifting people out.

The earthquake that struck Southern Turkey and Northern Syria on Monday, February 6th, had a significant impact on the region’s airports. Out of all the airports in the affected areas, three have ceased operations.

1. Adana Sakirpasa Airport (ADA)

The first airport to close is Adana Sakirpasa Airport (ADA) in the southern Turkish province of Adana. Despite the earthquake’s impact on the area, there have been no reports on the condition of the airport, specifically its terminal. However, as the situation stabilizes, more information on the airport’s condition will be made available to the public.

2. Hatay Airport (HTY)

The Hatay Province, located near the earthquake’s epicenter, saw its Hatay Airport (HTY) close down as a result of damage to the runway. The southern Turkish airport experienced substantial damage, with a large crack forming in the middle of its runway and causing the asphalt to rise like a small mountain range. As a result of these conditions, local authorities made the decision to halt all flight services to and from the airport.

3. Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport (GZT)

Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport (GZT), located near the earthquake’s epicenter, is another airport that has been closed. Although the airport only sustained minor damage, with no damage to the runway, local authorities have closed it to all civilian flight services. Only aircraft carrying relief supplies and performing medical evacuation operations are allowed to operate at the airfield. The airport remains on high alert due to its proximity to the earthquake’s epicenter, which was approximately 30 miles away.

Airport closures as a safety measure

The closures of the airports are a precautionary measure for the safety of travelers. The decisions to close the airports were made by local authorities, taking into account the damage sustained so far and the potential for further damage. The first earthquake had devastating effects, and the subsequent earthquakes and aftershocks have only compounded the situation.

The Effects of the Earthquake

The earthquake that struck Southern Turkey and Northern Syria on February 6th was felt as far away as Greenland, according to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. The size, scale, and high number of strong aftershocks have contributed to the decision to close multiple airports in the region.

As more reports come in, it will become clearer the extent of the devastation caused by the earthquake. Information about the damage to the infrastructure will provide insight into the condition of the airports that have been closed. No UK airlines have reported cancellations of flights to Turkey at the moment. However, there may be disruptions in the coming days as the situation continues to develop.

Resumption of Flight Operations

It will likely take several days before normal flight operations can resume at Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport (GZT) and Adana Sakirpasa Airport (ADA). The reopening of Hatay Airport (HTY) will take even longer as the runway requires significant repairs and must be tested for safety and stability before operations can resume.

Relief Efforts

Once normal flight operations are resumed, more relief will be able to reach the country, helping the millions of people affected by the disaster. The resumption of flight operations will play a critical role in supporting relief efforts and aiding the recovery process.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who have lost their lives and to those who have been injured in the disaster. We hope that relief efforts are swift and effective, bringing comfort and support to those affected.


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