VIIRS Day/Night Band Power Outage Analysis for the February 6, 2023 Earthquake in Turkey and Syria


by Tilottama Ghosh, Christopher Elvidge, Mikhail Zhizhin

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck at a depth of 20 km, and at a distance of 30 km WNW of Gaziantep province in Turkey ( At least 120 aftershocks have been felt around the region, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). At least 41,000 people have lost their lives till date (February 15*, 2023) and the number continues to rise. The natural disaster has aggravated the preexisting humanitarian need in the region as many Syrian refugees are concentrated in the 10 affected provinces of southern Turkey, and Syria, and have been already suffering from over a decade of civil war.
The earthquake was caused by the Arabian plate moving northwards and grinding against the Anatolian plate ( The movement of these two plates along the transform fault boundary caused the severe earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
In the attached images the fault lines are shown in cyan, and the earthquake epicenter is shown as a point in light green.
The images are red, green blue color composites:
Red = JPSS NPP VIIRS DNB January 2022, monthly cloud-free composite
Green = JPSS NPP VIIRS DNB visible band
Blue = JPSS NPP VIIRS M15 thermal band – inverted so cold clouds and cold terrain are bright blue.
The first image shows a typical day prior to the earthquake, with lit areas shown in yellow. The pages to follow show results from individual nights following the earthquake with power outage in red, normal power supply in yellow, and the clouds and high elevation (cold) terrain are shown in blue. Lights obscured by clouds are magenta. It is interesting to note that the areas of power outage follow the fault line. The progression of images show that in some areas power supplies are returning.