Powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake jolts Turkey, Syria; buildings collapse, 1300 dead
A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale struck southeastern Turkey on Monday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. Turkish president Erdogan raised the death toll to 912, bringing the overall death toll in Turkey and Syria to more than 1,300. The death toll is likely to rise further as the tremor struck in the early hours when most people were asleep.
Another earthquake of 6.7-magnitude struck 15 minutes later
The depth of the earthquake was around 17.9km, as per USGS. It was followed by another earthquake of magnitude 6.7 around 15 minutes later. Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) emergency service center measured the first earthquake's magnitude at 7.4. The quake sent out strong tremors to Lebanon and Cyprus, too, while scores of buildings collapsed in Turkey and neighboring Syria.
Turkey, Syria provide official updates on situation
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that at least 284 people lost their lives and over 2,300 people were injured in the country, updating the previous figures provided on Monday morning. Meanwhile, the Syrian Health Ministry has issued a statement, saying, "Six hundred and thirty-nine people were injured and 237 were killed in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Tartus."
Epicenter populated mostly by Syrian refugees
Horrific news of tonight’s earthquake in #Turkey & northern #Syria — the damage looks extensive.— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) February 6, 2023
The epicenter region is home to millions of refugees and IDPs, many of whom live in tents & makeshift structures. This is the absolute nightmare scenario for them. And it’s winter. pic.twitter.com/oACzWYtWb2
Hundreds of buildings collapsed, tremors lasted for minutes
As many as 420 people were reportedly injured while 140 buildings collapsed in Turkey's Malatya province. The quake's epicenter was near the city of Gaziantep, apart from which Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir, and Kilis have also been affected. The first quake lasted for four to five minutes. Many are still feared buried under the rubble.
11 dead in northwestern Syrian town alone
Associated Press reported that around 11 people died in the northwestern Syrian town of Atmed alone. The northwestern region of Syria, which is the most affected in the country, is reportedly under the clutches of rebel groups as it is mired by over a decade of violence. Meanwhile, civil defense and fire department personnel are trying to pull survivors out of the rubble.
Turkey lies in one of world's most earthquake-prone zones
Turkey is located in one of the world's most active earthquake zones, as it sits on top of major fault lines. In 1999, a strong earthquake rocked northwest Turkey, killing more than 17,000 people. Following the quake, Turkey is now facing the threat of a flood. Earthquake experts have asked officials to immediately check the region's dams for cracks to prevent potential floods.
Turkey now facing danger of flood
Map showing the epicentre of today’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey and the intensity it hit surrounding countries— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) February 6, 2023
Utterly devastating pic.twitter.com/2kwTDvt9yg