World roundup: February 6 2023
Stories from China, Kosovo, Haiti, and elsewhere
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’ll be taking a bit of a pause this week for medical reasons—nothing serious, very routine in fact, but still something that will impact my ability to work. Tomorrow’s roundup will go out as usual but then we’ll resume on Sunday.
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday. The quake, whose epicenter was just west of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, was followed by a number of aftershocks, at least one of which was nearly as intense as the initial quake. The damage by all accounts has been quite severe, and the death toll has been rising throughout the day so rapidly that I’m not sure there’s any point to me noting it because it will likely be higher by the time anyone reads this. For the record, as I write this the latest figures are 2316 killed in Turkey and 1444 in Syria, with more than 13,000 and 3500 injured in each country, respectively.
It will take some time to determine the level of displacement but that figure could conceivably stretch into the millions. Given the location, many of the people hit hardest by this quake have of course already been displaced by the Syrian civil war. Recovery is likely to be arduous in Turkey and may be more arduous in those parts of Syria that are currently under rebel and/or Turkish control, though those regions can probably expect a significant level of international support. It’s less clear what’s going to happen in affected parts of Syria that are under government control, given that the Syrian government remains heavily sanctioned and is still largely isolated both regionally and internationally.