Major quake kills nearly 200 across Turkey, Syria

admin 6 February, 2023
Updated 2023/02/06 at 6:43 AM
7 Min Read
78 magnitude earthquake that hit Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey levelling buildings across several cities and causing damages in neighbouring Syria

Television images show shocked people in Turkey standing in snow in their pyjamas, watching rescuers dig through debris of damaged homes

A 7.Eight-significance earthquake hit Turkey and Syria early on Monday, killing nearly 2 hundred people, levelling homes while many were nevertheless asleep, and sending tremors that have been felt as far away because the island of Cyprus and Egypt.

The emergency provider in Turkey positioned the preliminary loss of life toll at seventy six, even though it threatened to climb drastically higher due to the fact the night-time catastrophe had flattened dozens of rental blocks across fundamental cities.

At least 119 humans also died in government-controlled elements of Syria, as well as the northern areas held via pro-Turkish factions, according to the health ministry and a local clinic.

Television photos confirmed greatly surprised humans in Turkey status in the snow of their pyjamas, looking rescuers dig thru the particles of broken houses.

The quake struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles) close to the Turkish city of Gaziantep, that is domestic to around million people, the USA Geological Survey said.

Turkey’s AFAD emergencies carrier centre positioned the first quake’s significance at 7.Four, adding that it become accompanied through extra than 40 aftershocks.

Rescue workers and residents of a building seen carrying an injured man pulled out of the rubble
Rescue workers and residents of a building seen carrying an injured man pulled out of the rubble.

The earthquake was one of the maximum effective to hit the place in at the least a century, affecting southeastern parts of Turkey which might be domestic to thousands and thousands of refugees from Syria and different conflict-torn parts of the sector.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who may be beneath intense pressure to supervise an powerful response to the disaster heading to a tightly-contested May 14 election, conveyed his sympathies and advised national unity.

“We hope that we will get through this catastrophe collectively as soon as feasible and with the least harm,” the Turkish chief tweeted.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington was “profoundly concerned”.

“We stand prepared to offer any and all wanted assistance,” Sullivan stated.

‘People under rubble’

The earthquake struck a restive, predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey near Syria, a country gripped by more than a decade of violence that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of people.

Turkey quake
Turkey quake

Images on Turkish television showed rescuers digging through the rubble of levelled buildings in the city of Kahramanmaras and neighbouring Gaziantep, where entire sections of cities were destroyed.

A fire lit up the night sky in one image from Kahramanmaras, although its origin remained unclear.

Buildings also crumbled in the cities of Adiyaman, Malatya and Diyarbakir, where AFP reporters saw panicked people rush out on the street.

Kahramanmaras Governor Omer Faruk Coskun said it was too early to estimate the death toll because so many buildings were destroyed.

“It is not possible to give the number of dead and injured at the moment because so many buildings have been destroyed,” Coskun said. “The damage is serious.”

A famous mosque dating back to the 13th century partially collapsed in the province of Maltaya, where a 14-story building with 28 apartments also collapsed.

In other cities, rescuers sounded anguished as they struggled to reach survivors trapped under the debris.

“We hear voices here — and over there, too,” one rescuer was overheard as saying on NTV television in front of a flattened building in the city of Diyarbakir.

“There may be 200 people under the rubble.”

‘Biggest earthquake’

The Syrian health ministry reported damage across the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus, where Russia is leasing a naval facility.

AFP correspondents in northern Syria said terrified residents ran out of their homes after the ground shook.

Raed Ahmed, who heads Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, told pro-government radio that this was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”.

Naci Gorur, an earthquake expert with Turkey’s Academy of Sciences, urged local officials to immediately check the region’s dams for cracks to avert potentially catastrophic floodings.

Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.

The Turkish region of Duzce suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999 — the worst to hit Turkey in decades.

That quake killed more than 17,000 people, including about 1,000 in Istanbul.

Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate Istanbul, which has allowed widespread building without safety precautions.

A magnitude-6.8 quake hit Elazig in January 2020, killing more than 40 people.

And in October that year, a magnitude-7.0 quake hit Turkey’s Aegean coast, killing 114 people and wounding more than 1,000.

Pakistan extends condolences

Reacting to the deadly earthquake, Pakistan extended condolences over the loss of lives in Turkey.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office said that the government and people of Pakistan are deeply saddened to learn that a severe earthquake hit parts of southern Turkey, resulting in the loss of precious lives and extensive damage to property.

“The people of Pakistan stand in complete solidarity with our Turkish brethren in this hour of grief. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the early recovery of those injured,” the statement read.

The FO also assured the friendly country of its readiness to extend every possible support in the relief effort.

“We are confident that the resilient Turkish nation will overcome this natural calamity with characteristic grit and determination,” it added.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, meanwhile, also extended condolences and sympathies to President Erdogan and the people of Turkey on the loss of precious lives.

“Deeply saddened by the news of a massive earthquake that struck southeastern region of Türkiye,” he said.

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