Turkey and Syria: 2,300 people dead after earthquakes

StarAvis Desk
StarAvis Desk
2 Min Read
Rescue teams search for victims in the rubble following an earthquake in northwestern Syria. Photograph: Syria Civil Defense/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

Associated Press report that the death toll from Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has now climbed to over 2,300 people.

At least 1,498 people were killed across 10 provinces of Turkey, with another 7,600 injured, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

The death toll in government-held areas of Syria rose to more than 430 people, with 1,280 injured, according to data from the health ministry. In the country’s north-west where the government is not in control, groups that operate there said the death toll was at least 380, with many hundreds injured.

The number is expected to continue to rise rapidly, with many people believed to be trapped under rubble in collapsed buildings.

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The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday is likely to be one of the deadliest this decade, seismologists said, with a more than 100 km (62 miles) rupture between the Anatolian and Arabian plates, according to Reuters.

The magnitude 7.8 quake hit before sunrise in cold winter weather. It was the worst to strike Turkey this century. Its epicentre was close to the southern city of Gaziantep, and tremors were felt as far away as Cyprus, Cairo and Mosul.

The initial earthquake was followed by more than 100 aftershocks, including a magnitude 7.7 tremor during the day on Monday that interrupted search and rescue efforts.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said preliminary data showed that the second large quake occurred 67 km (42 miles) north-east of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, at a depth of 2 km.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said 45 countries had already offered help with search and rescue efforts. More than 10 search and rescue teams from the EU have been mobilised.

The International Rescue Committee called for increased funding for humanitarian aid in Syria, saying many people in the north-west had already been displaced up to 20 times, and that medical care in the region was “strained beyond capacity even before this tragedy”.

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