A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shakes Turkey
Many casualties are feared after an earthquake destroyed several buildings in the Middle East.
ANKARA, Türkiye — A 7.8 magnitude tremor demolished several buildings in southeastern Turkey and Syria early Monday, and many casualties are feared.
At least 10 deaths were initially reported in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the areas affected by the quake”.
“We hope that together we can get through this disaster as quickly as possible and with as little damage as possible,” he wrote.
There were at least 6 aftershocks and urged people not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
“Our priority is to get people trapped under destroyed buildings out and get them to hospitals,” he said.
In northwestern Syria, the opposition Syrian Civil Defense described the situation in the rebel-held region as “catastrophic,” adding that entire buildings had collapsed and people were trapped under the rubble. Civil Defense urged people to evacuate buildings to gather in open spaces.
The US Geological Survey said the center of the quake was about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital. It was centered 18 kilometers (11 miles) deep, and a powerful 6.7 aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency AFAD said the quake measured a magnitude of 7.4 and was concentrated in the city of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province.
At least 10 deaths have been confirmed in Sanliurfa, according to Governor Salih Ayhan.
Several buildings collapsed in neighboring provinces of Malatya, Diyarbakir and Malatya, TV HaberTurk reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Syria’s state media reported that some buildings in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama had collapsed.
In Damascus, buildings shook and many people took to the streets in fear.
The tremor jolted residents of Lebanon from their beds and shook buildings for about 40 seconds. Many Beirut residents left their homes and took to the streets or drove their cars away from buildings.
The earthquake came as the Middle East is experiencing a snowstorm that is expected to last through Thursday.
Turkey lies on major fault lines and is frequently rocked by earthquakes.
About 18,000 people died in 1999 in a powerful earthquake in north-west Turkey.
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/powerful-earthquake-knocks-down-buildings-in-central-turkey/507-fed46448-1ee1-4a93-bc62-7e19fcecdbc4 A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shakes Turkey