Over 500 Dead After 7.8 Magnitude Strong Earthquake Jolts Turkey, Several Buildings Damaged - WATCH
Turkey Earthquake: More than 500 people died after a powerful earthquake that was centered about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital, hit central Turkey this morning. The tremors were felt in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus.
Ankara: More than 500 people died in a powerful earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday morning. Turkey's death toll stands at 284, while in war-ravaged Syria, 237 people have died. Rescuers are continuing their search for survivors after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the two countries. The devastating earthquake toppled several high-rise buildings and forced hundreds of residents in the affected areas to gather outside on a cold winter night. Rescue workers and residents are frantically searching for survivors under the rubble of crushed buildings in multiple cities on both sides of the border. PM Narendra Modi has expressed his deep ''anguish'' over the loss of lives in Turkey and assured Ankara of all possible help.
The powerful earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale, jolted central Turkey early on Monday and was followed by another strong temblor. The earthquake was centred about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital. It was about 26 kilometers (16 miles) from the town of Nurdagi.
It was centred 18 kilometres (11 miles) deep, according to the US Geological Survey. The tremors were felt in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, according to Turkey media reports. The southern region of Gaziantep - one of Turkey's key industrial and manufacturing hubs - borders Syria.
Damaging M7.8 EQ hit southern Turkey near the Syrian border ~4am local time. PAGER is red for this event; extensive damage is probable. Our hearts go out to those affected. See @Kandilli_info for local info. https://t.co/dMyc6ZVrE1 https://t.co/0OxrznZf1v pic.twitter.com/eco071JqVm — USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) February 6, 2023
According to reports, the earthquake triggered panic among the residents forcing them to flee their homes and gather outside in the open on a cold winter night. People on the street shouted up to others inside a partially toppled apartment building, leaning dangerously, reported news agency PTI.
Rescue workers and residents using flashlights were searching through piles of tangled metal and concrete rubble in one of the stricken cities.
Turkey authorities had earlier said there were no casualties, but several videos posted on social media platforms showed the earthquake damaged many buildings in several cities in the southeast of the country. Governor Erdinc Yilmaz also earlier confirmed that as many as 34 buildings were destroyed in the province. Along with several cities, Gaziantep is home to home to millions of Syrian refugees who fled their country's long-running civil war.
Multiple apartment buildings have collapsed after a powerful earthquake in southern Turkey pic.twitter.com/wydrBj94RL — BNO News (@BNONews) February 6, 2023
#BREAKING: Powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits in southern Turkey
#Gaziantep l #Turkey
A destructive Magnitude 7.8 earthquake just struck southern Turkey near Gaziantep that has caused extensive damage with Reports of multiple people trapped in collapsed buildings pic.twitter.com/dICGsAhUf3 — R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 6, 2023
Multiple residential buildings/ apartment complex's have collapsed as a result of a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey.
Numbers of injured and dead may rise. Rescue ops on.. pic.twitter.com/TvYi3DQzkz — Megh Updates (@MeghUpdates) February 6, 2023
Syria's state media later reported that some buildings collapsed in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama. In Damascus, buildings shook and many people went down to the streets in fear. The quake jolted residents in Lebanon from their beds, shaking buildings for about 40 seconds. At least 130 buildings tumbled down in Turkey's Malatya province, Gov. Hulusi Sahin said.
It may be noted that Turkey falls under one of the world's most active earthquake zones. In 1999, a strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Duzce killing more than 17,000 people, including about 1,000 in Istanbul - the worst to hit Turkey in decades. Seismologists have long warned a large quake could devastate Istanbul, which has allowed widespread building without safety precautions.