Powerful earthquake in Turkey, Syria leave at least 1,500 dead, 6,000 injured
06 February 2023
At least 1,500 people were killed and nearly 6,000 were injured, as dozens of buildings collapsed, raising fears of hundreds being trapped under the rubble after an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria, at dawn on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Syrian health ministry said the toll in government-held areas of Syria climbed to 326 people, with some 1,000 injured while in rebel-held areas, at least 150 people were killed.
According to Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, the quake occurred at 4:17 am local time. Reports said the quake lasted about a minute.
Television footage showed damage to buildings and people gathering on the streets. The quake affected the cities of Kahramanmaras Hatay and Osmaniye most, it added.
The citizens in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Palestinian territories, Armenia, Georgia and Egypt, felt the aftershocks of the earthquake.
The German Center for Geosciences Research said the earthquake that shook central Turkey early Monday morning was of 7.7-magnitude while the American Center for Earthquakes said that the magnitude of the earthquake that struck southern Turkey was of 7.9 magnitude.
The centres monitored 6 aftershocks of more than 6 degrees on the Richter scale.
The Turkish interior minister said that the ministry’s crew are running the rescue operation in the quake-stricken area in the south of the country, which is subject to aftershocks.
“All our teams are on alert, we have raised a level four alert, and this alert includes international assistance,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
“We cannot currently provide clear statements about information related to material and human losses,” he added.
Video clips showed people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Turkish and Syrian cities.
Turkey is located in a region with seismic activity that is among the highest in the world.
In November 2022, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck northwest Turkey, leaving about 50 injured, according to Turkish ambulance services.
Another earthquake that struck the Izig region in January 2020 killed more than 40 people.
In October of the same year, a 7-magnitude earthquake struck the Aegean Sea, killing 114 people and injuring more than a thousand others.