ISTANBUL - Satellite images released this week show how the devastating earthquakes that struck southeast Turkey on Feb. 6 have ruptured the land itself.
The images, created by French seismologist Nahel Belgherze using Maxar technology, highlight the damage in the Turkish city of Nurdagi in Gaziantep province.
According to Belgherze, the earthquakes caused "several hundred meters of long surface ruptures" with horizontal displacements up to 4 meters in the city.
Space.com separately reported that two enormous cracks in the Earth’s crust had opened near the Turkish-Syrian border following the natural disaster.
According to researchers in the U.K., the longest of the two ruptures stretch nearly 200 miles in the northeastern tip of the Mediterranean Sea. The second crack in the Earth’s surface stretches about 80 miles.
Professor Tim Wright, who leads the team that discovered the two ruptures in the Mediterranean, told Space.com it is a common occurrence after such a powerful earthquake.
"The bigger the earthquake, the bigger the fault and the more it slips," Wright said. "This earthquake fault is one of the longest on record on the continents. Also very unusual to have two such large earthquakes happening within a few hours of each other."
A local scientist posted a photo of another rupture that occurred just north of Cyprus.
On Monday morning, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Pazarcik district, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Kahramanmaras, and was followed that afternoon by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in Elbistan district, about 45 miles (70 km) north of Kahramanmaras, according to Turkey’s national disaster management agency, AFAD.
By Friday, the death toll between Turkey and Syria had surpassed 22,000, official reports said.
The United Nations has pledged a $25 million grant for people in earthquake-stricken areas of Syria. That’s in addition to a $25 million grant announced earlier this week for emergency operations in both Turkey and Syria.
The Associated Press and Storyful contributed to this story.