DIYARBAKIR/ANKARA: More than 500 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 rocked central Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday. Buildings collapsed throughout the region, sparking searches for survivors among the rubble.
The earthquake, which happened in the wee hours of a winter morning, was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.
“We were violently trembled. At home, there were nine of us. I’m waiting for my two sons who are still in the rubble “One mother spoke while sitting in an ambulance next to the wreckage of her seven-story Diyarbakir apartment building with her arm shattered and facial wounded.
Erdem, a resident of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, which is close to the earthquake’s centre, claimed that in his 40 years of existence, he has never encountered anything comparable. Erdem chose not to reveal his last name. We experienced at least three really severe shakes.
Fuat Oktay, vice president of Turkey, reported 284 fatalities and 2,323 injuries as officials dispatched rescue crews and aircraft to the area and declared a “level 4 alarm” that requests assistance from other countries.
A government health official in Syria, which has been devastated by more than 11 years of civil conflict, reported that more than 237 people had died and 600 had been injured, the most in the provinces of Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia where many structures collapsed.
An emergency agency reported that many had died in the northwest of Syria, which is controlled by rebels.