Turkey earthquake: Before and after pictures show extent of destruction

A woman reacts as rescuers search for survivors through the rubble of collapsed buildings in Adana

By The Visual Journalism Team

BBC News

Two huge earthquakes and a series of aftershocks have hit Turkey, Syria and the surrounding region, killing more than 11,000 people and causing widespread destruction.

The first earthquake, which struck in the early hours of 6 February, was registered as 7.8, classified as “major” on the official magnitude scale. Its epicentre was near Gaziantep – a city of more than two million people.

Before and after images showing collapsed buildings in Gaziantep, Turkey.

The intensity of the tremors also brought down tower blocks and public buildings in northern Syria and the quake was felt as far away as Cyprus and Lebanon, both about 250 miles (400km) from the epicentre.

In Turkey, more than 8,500 people are confirmed to have died, with tens of thousands injured and thousands of buildings destroyed.

Before and after images showing collapsed buildings in Gaziantep, Turkey.

The first earthquake was followed by numerous aftershocks, including one quake which was almost as large as the first – registering as magnitude 7.5 – about nine hours later with its epicentre about 60 miles (100km) further north in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.

Collapsed buildings in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake in the centre of Kahramanmaras
Image caption,The second quake devastated the city of Kahramanmaras
Child seated amid crates of water in the aftermath of earthquake in Kahramanmaras

On Tuesday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three month state of emergency in the south-east of the country, covering 10 cities affected.

Two maps showing the epicentres of the first and second earthquakes in Turkey and the area and scale of shaking that each caused

In the Mediterranean port city of Iskenderun, in the province of Hatay, about 75 miles (120km) from Gaziantep, buildings and docks were reduced to rubble.

Before and after images showing collapsed buildings in Iskenderun, Turkey.

A fire at the port of Iskenderun has also hampered aid efforts with many containers destroyed and those stuck in the port blocking supplies being brought in.

Smoke rises from burning containers at the port in the earthquake-stricken town of Iskenderun
Before and after images showing a collapsed church in Iskenderun, Turkey.

The historic Yeni Camii mosque, in Malatya, more than 100 miles (160km) from the epicentre, was extensively damaged. Its domes collapsed, leaving it exposed to the winter sky. The mosque was destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1894 and, after reconstruction, damaged by another quake in 1964.

Before and after images showing the destruction of the Yeni mosque in Malatya, Turkey.

Collapsing buildings killed more than 2,500 people across Syria. In the city of Aleppo, the ancient citadel ravaged by a decade of war has been further damaged by the quake.

In the village of Besnaya-Bseineh, a large block of residential and commercial buildings was reduced to rubble.

Before and after images show destruction in a village in Syria as a result of the quake.

China fire: Skyscraper engulfed in massive flames

An enormous fire has engulfed a skyscraper in the Chinese city of Changsha, state media reports.

Footage posted on social media showed massive flames racing up the 42-storey building’s side as office workers rushed to evacuate the building.

Thick clouds of black smoke billowed out of the structure, which is a regional office for China Telecom.

Authorities said the flames have since been extinguished and that no casualties had yet been reported.

Images posted on social media showed firefighters aiming jets of water at the blackened facade of the 218m (715ft) tall structure in a race to put the fire out.

An entire side of the skyscraper appeared to be engulfed in flames at one point.

In another video, dozens of people could be seen fleeing the scene as flaming debris rained down from the skyscraper’s upper floors.

The BBC has not yet been able to verify the footage and it is not currently clear what caused the fire.

According to state media, the building was completed in the year 2000 and is positioned near a major ring road in the city of Changsha, the 10-million person capital of Hunan province, in south-central China.

In a statement reported by AFP news agency, state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom confirmed the incident, saying it was extinguished “by around 16:30 (local time)”.

“No casualties have yet been discovered and communications have not been cut off,” a company spokesperson said.

2020 Beirut Explosion

On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Port of Beirut in the capital city of Lebanon exploded, causing at least 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety measures for the previous six years, after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus. The explosion was preceded by a fire in the same warehouse, but as of September 2021, the exact cause of the detonation is still under investigation.

The blast shook the whole country of Lebanon. It was felt in Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Israel as well as parts of Europe, and was heard in Cyprus, more than 240 km (150 mi) away. It was detected by the United States Geological Survey as a seismic event of magnitude 3.3, and is considered one of the most powerful artificial non-nuclear explosions in history.

The Lebanese government declared a two-week state of emergency in response to the disaster. In its aftermath, protests erupted across Lebanon against the government for their failure to prevent the disaster, joining a larger series of protests which have been taking place across the country since 2019.

At least six people have been killed and 32 others injured by gunfire in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

It began during a protest by the Shia Muslim groups Hezbollah and Amal against the judge investigating last year’s huge blast at the city’s port.

They said Christian snipers from the Lebanese Forces (LF) faction fired at the crowd to drag Lebanon into strife – a claim denied by the LF.

Huge tension surrounds the probe into the port explosion that killed 219.

Hezbollah and its allies claim the judge is biased, but the victims’ families support his work.

No-one has yet been held accountable for the August 2020 disaster, in which swathes of the city were devastated.

In response to Thursday’s shooting, some of Lebanon’s worst violence in years, Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced a day of mourning on Friday.

Meanwhile, President Michel Aoun said: “We will not allow anyone to take the country hostage to their own interests.”

Terrible Airplane Crash in Afghanistan

National Airlines Flight 102 was a cargo flight operated by National Airlines between Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai, with a refueling stop at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. On 29 April 2013, the Boeing 747-400 operating the flight crashed moments after taking off from Bagram, killing all seven people on board.

The subsequent investigation concluded that improperly secured cargo broke free during the take-off and rolled to the back of the cargo hold, crashing through the rear pressure bulkhead and disabling the rear flight control systems. This rendered the aircraft uncontrollable, making recovery from a stall brought on by a change of balance from the shifted cargo impossible.

Avalanche Theory for Dyatlov Pass Incident is Bolstered by New Study

In what may be disappointing news to those who advocate for a more exotic explanation, an intriguing new scientific examination of the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident supports the theory that the tragic event was the result of an avalanche. The 1959 case which saw nine hikers die under mysterious circumstances in Russia’s Ural Mountains has been the subject of considerable speculation and debate for decades with all manner of possibilities for what could have caused their demise being put forward by researchers. The latest look at the Dyaltov Pass incident comes by way of a pair of highly qualified experts who wound up coming to a rather familiar conclusion.

Learning about the curious case for the first time back in October of 2019, professor Johan Gaume, who heads the Snow and Avalanche Simulation Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, became fascinated by the mysterious event and enlisted Alexander Puzrin, chair of Geotechnical Engineering at ETH Zurich, to see if their considerable expertise could be used to solve the mystery once and for all. In a newly published paper authored by the two experts, they argue that the tragedy was, indeed, the result of an avalanche and, remarkably, that the unexpected torrent of snow was actually inadvertently caused by the hikers themselves.

Specifically, they theorize, the nightmarish chain of events began when the hikers cut into a snow slab on the side of the mountain in order to set up their tent and be protected by winds. “If they hadn’t made a cut in the slope, nothing would have happened,” mused Guame in a press release detailing the duo’s findings, “that was the initial trigger, but that alone wouldn’t have been enough.” As such, the two scientists propose that a downward airflow, known as a katabatic wind, likely caused an additional layer of snow to accumulate on the slope over the next several hours until the pressure became too much and the slab finally gave way in the form of an avalanche.

The researchers say that this scenario, which they explored using computer simulations and scientific modeling, answers the question of how such an event could have occurred if there had been no snowfall the night of the incident and also explains the injuries sustained by the hikers. “The truth, of course, is that no one really knows what happened that night,” conceded Guame, who nevertheless noted that their study produced “strong quantitative evidence that the avalanche theory is plausible,” which is far more than proponents of the more fantastic ideas such as a Yeti attack or UFO event have managed to accomplish.

Catastrophic Year for California Wildfires

The 2018 California wildfire season has been one of the most destructive on record in the state of California. During 2018, a total of 7,579 fires had burned an area of 1,667,855 acres (6,749.57 km2), the largest amount of burned acreage recorded in a California fire season, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center, as of November 11. The fires caused over $2.975 billion (2018 USD) in damages, including $1.366 billion in fire suppression costs. Through the end of August 2018, Cal Fire alone spent $432 million on operations. The Mendocino Complex Fire burned more than 459,000 acres (1,860 km2), becoming the largest complex fire in the state’s history, with the complex’s Ranch Fire surpassing the Thomas Fire and the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889 to become California’s single-largest recorded wildfire.

In mid-July to August 2018, a series of large wildfires erupted across California, mostly in the northern part of the state, including the destructive Carr Fire and the Mendocino Complex Fire. On August 4, 2018, a national disaster was declared in Northern California, due to the massive wildfires burning there. In November 2018, foehn winds caused another round of large, destructive fires to erupt across the state. This new batch of wildfires included the Camp Fire, which destroyed more than 6,700 structures and became California’s most destructive wildfire on record.








Before and After Photos from Houston

Startling before-and-after images from Houston, where hurricane Harvey dumped a trillion gallons of water after tearing up much of coastal Texas.

At least eight deaths are reported and it’s expected to generate more damage than Katrina. Yet it’s far from over, with no end to the rain. Nearly half a million people will need disaster relief in what is being plainly described as the worst disaster ever to hit in Texas. Some 30,000 people need immediate shelter.