By Thursday, the death toll caused by the earthquakes surpassed 15,000, with at least 12,391 fatalities recorded in Turkey and at least 2,992 killed in Syria.
Qatar is far from earthquake risks due to its location on the fault line, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority expert Dr. Reda Abdel-Fattah assured on Wednesday.
“In Qatar, we are blessed with some sort of safety when it comes to earthquake dangers given that we are not close to the fault line closest to us, which is in Zagros Mountains,” Dr. Abdel-Fattah told Doha’s state news agency (QNA).
Fault lines are the areas where the planet’s tectonic plates move against one another, leading to an earthquake.
The expert added that Qatar Seismic Network, which closely collaborates with its international partners, is equipped with the tools that help in monitoring earthquake activities regionally and globally.
According to QNA, the network includes nine stations, three of which have a depth of more than 100 metres.
Dr. Abdel-Fattah’s comments come just days after Turkey and Syria witnessed this century’s worst earthquake on Monday.
The first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck early in the morning with the epicenter close to the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Hours later, this was followed by a second quake with a magnitude of 7.5 in southeast Turkey.
By Thursday, the death toll surpassed 15,000, with at least 12,391 fatalities recorded in Turkey and at least 2,992 killed in Syria.
International organisations including the United Nations fear that the death toll will increase as search and rescue operations continue with the help of international teams, including Qatar’s Lekhwiya.
Thousands are left homeless after their residences have completely or partially collapsed. Panic has also been reported among residents of buildings that cracked during the tragedy, with many sleeping in the streets in fear of entering their houses.
The natural disaster was also felt in other countries across the region, including Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine where several aftershocks were reported.
Commenting on the tragic event, Dr. Abdel-Fattah noted that earthquakes cannot be easily predicted while assuring that the chances of them occurring again is low.
“While experts cannot locate earthquakes nor their strength, they can provide some predictions on when they would occur[…]the amount of earthquakes is dropping day-by-day and God willing the situation will be more stable soon,” he added.