Turkey and Syria have been jolted by a powerful earthquake. The Turkey earthquake in February killed nearly 200 people in two countries. It is one of Turkey’s largest earthquakes in more than a century, causing tremors throughout the area, destroying buildings and sending inhabitants rushing into the streets.
In Turkey, officials confirmed more than 76 deaths so far and 10 cities hit, including Diyarbakir. In Syria, more than 50 people were killed, state media reported.
There are fears the death toll will rise sharply in the coming hours.
Many buildings have collapsed and rescue teams have been deployed to search for survivors under huge piles of rubble.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleymon Soylu said 10 cities were affected: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.
In Malatya province, north-east of Gaziantep, at least 23 people were killed, local officials said. In Sanliurfa, to the east, there were 17 deaths. And more deaths were reported in Diyarbakir and Osmaniye.
About 440 people were injured. According to BBC Turkish correspondent Diyarbakir, reported that a shopping mall in the city collapsed. In Syria, state media reported many deaths in the regions of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia.
The quake struck before daybreak on Monday, when residents were likely asleep and unprepared for the impact. A video from Turkey shared on social media showed dozens of collapsed buildings, while frightened residents huddled on the darkened streets amid the chaos. Rescue workers can be seen conducting search-and-rescue operations by flashlight.
#BREAKING#Istanbul: A Hospital in City of Şanlıurfa in Southern Turkey completely destroyed by Earthquake, Rescue Operation continues#Turkey #earthquake pic.twitter.com/rl31K9qvm8
— Asian Strategic Times (@AST_HQ) February 6, 2023
The deadly earthquake on Monday(today) in Turkey, which was felt in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, was as strong as one in 1939, the most powerful one on record in Türkiye. At magnitude 7.8, Monday’s quake had the same magnitude as one that killed about 30,000 people in December 1939 in northeast Türkiye, Stephen Hicks, a research fellow in seismology at Imperial College London, wrote on Twitter. In October 2020, a magnitude 7 earthquake near Samos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea near Turkey’s coast, killed at least 24 people in Turkey and caused more casualties in Greece.