Turkish airports close after largest earthquake for a decade rocks Turkey, Syria 

Hatay Airport
Aybige Mert/ Shutterstock.com

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey and northern Syria during the early hours of February 6, 2023, causing wholesale destruction and leaving thousands dead.  

The earthquake has also heavily impacted the region’s air transportation infrastructure, causing severe damage and resulting in many flights being cancelled across Turkey and the whole region. 

Video footage has emerged showing how at Hatay airport (HTY), which serves the cities of Antakya and Iskenderun, the tarmac has folded, creating a hump right across the runway and, presumably, rendering it inoperative. 

In another dramatic video, passengers can be seen running for safety at the baggage collection hall at Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport (GZT). 

Both Gaziantep and Hatay airports remained closed at the time of this report, along with Kahramanmaraş (KCM), another airport in the region.  

The earthquake aftershocks also disrupted air traffic during the morning at Adana Sakirpasa airport (ADA), also in southeastern Turkey. There, several planes were observed flying holding patterns because of the closure of the runway.

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