Turkey has been hit by two massive earthquakes within just hours of each other, killing more than 1,500 people and leaving thousands injured.
The second quake hit at 1:24 pm (1024 GMT), two-and-a-half miles south-southeast of the town of Ekinozu, roughly 60 miles north of the first quake, devastated Turkey and Syria.
As The Daily Mail reports:
The 7.5 magnitude trembler struck as hundreds were still believed to be trapped under rubble due to the first, and the toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area.
It occurred at a depth of 4.3 miles, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said, adding that the epicentre of the quake was Elbistan region of Kahramanmaras province. It came less than 12 hours after the first.
Orhan Tatar, an official from the Turkish disaster agency, told reporters that the two quakes were independent of each other. He said hundreds of aftershocks were expected after both. Shocks were felt as far away as Cyprus.
Monday morning’s 7.8 magnitude quake jolted residents awake. They fled from their homes in terror out into the cold, rainy and snowy night across southeast Turkey and northern Syria, taking shelter in cars as thousands of buildings collapsed.
Tremors from the first quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and also Cyprus. At the same time, a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy along the country’s coast.
Concerns grew for people trapped under the rubble as thousands of rescue workers jumped into action, searching through tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete for survivors who could be heard calling out from underneath the wreckage.
Terrifying videos and pictures from across the region showed the huge destruction wrought by the quake. One clip from the border town of Azaz, Syria, showed a rescuer desperately running through a field of debris with an injured child in his arms, while another showed the total collapse of a building in Sanliurfa, Turkey.
Monday’s first quake was centred north of Gaziantep, Turkey, which is about 60 miles from the Syrian border and has a population of bout 2 million. The region is home to large numbers of Syrian refugees.
It struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 11 miles, the US Geological Survey said. A strong 6.7 aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later, causing more havoc. Turkey’s own agency said 40 aftershocks were felt.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency said the earthquake killed scores of people across seven Turkish provinces.
At around 10:15 GMT, Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan announced the death toll in his country had soared to 912, while another 5,000 were injured, revising earlier figures. Erdogan described it as the country’s largest disaster since 1939 (when 33,000 people were killed in the Erzincan earthquake)
He added that 2,818 buildings had collapsed due to Monday’s quake.
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