Over 100 dead in Turkey, Syria after powerful earthquake

International Desk Published: 6 February 2023, 11:25 AM
Over 100 dead in Turkey, Syria after powerful earthquake
The earthquake caused widespread damage across Turkey's southern provinces

More than 100 people have died after a strong earthquake rocked southern Turkey in the early hours of Monday morning.

The US Geological Service said a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Gaziantep, a key industrial hub near the border with Syria, reports DW. 

It is also near one of the world's most active earthquake zones.

Death toll climbing

Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said 76 people had been confirmed dead, and at least 440 more were injured.

Syria's Assistant Health Minister Ahmad Dumeira said at least 42 people were killed in government-held areas of the country, while doctors in rebel-held areas also reported dozens of deaths in the aftermath.

"We fear that the deaths are in the hundreds," Muheeb Qaddour, a doctor in the Syrian town of Atmed, told the Associated Press.

"We are under extreme pressure."

Rescue efforts underway

Rescue workers have been deployed in Turkey and Syria to pull survivors from the rubble.

"I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.

quakeMany apartment blocks were destroyed in Turkey's Kahramanmaras Province

"We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage."

Tremors could also be felt as far as Lebanon, Cyprus, and Egypt.

Buildings destroyed in Turkey, Syria

Early reports said buildings had been destroyed in a number of provinces in southern Turkey.

The governor of Malatya Province said some 130 buildings had collapsed in the regional capital.

Syria's state media also reported that some buildings had collapsed in Aleppo and the central city of Hama. Tremors were also felt in Damascus.

The head of Syria's National Earthquake Center, Raed Ahmed, told local media that this was "historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center."

The White Helmets rescue organization said buildings also collapsed in the rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria, adding that the situation was "disastrous."