Dozens dead in Turkey and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake

People in front of the rubble of a building in Pazarcik in southern Turkey on February 6, 2023. AP

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing nearly 100 people in both countries and causing extensive damage, according to initial reports.


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At least 42 people have been killed in several cities in Syria, according to state media, and at least 53 in Turkey according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

According to the American seismological institute USGS, the earthquake took place at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT), at a depth of approximately 17.9 kilometers.

According to the official Syrian agency Sana, which quotes an official from the Ministry of Health, 42 dead and more than 200 injured have been recorded in the cities of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia and the toll could increase.

The epicenter is located in the district of Pazarcik, in the province of Kahramanmaras (south-east), about 60 km as the crow flies from the Syrian border.

This earthquake is the largest in Turkey since the earthquake of August 17, 1999, which caused the death of 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.

At least 23 people have been killed and 420 others injured in Malatya province, its governor told public broadcaster TRT.

The governor of Sanliurfa, quoted by the state agency Anadolu, reported 17 dead and 30 injured in his province.

At least six others were killed in Diyarbakir province, its governor said.

People trapped under rubble

According to AFAD, the government's disaster management agency, the earthquake that occurred overnight had a magnitude of 7.4 and a depth of 7 km.

The tremors, felt across the southeast of the country, were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus, according to AFP correspondents.

Videos posted on social networks show destroyed buildings in several cities in the south-east of the country.

An AFP correspondent in Diyarbakir, a large city in the south-east of the country, saw a collapsed building, with rescuers hard at work trying to extricate people from the rubble.

On Twitter, Turkish Internet users shared the identity and location of people trapped under the rubble in several cities in the south-east of the country.

Adana city mayor Zeydan Karalar said two 17-storey and 14-storey buildings were destroyed, according to TRT.

Buildings were destroyed in many cities in the south-east of the country including Adiyaman, Diyarbakir and Malatya, according to the private Turkish channel NTV, raising fears of victims.





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