Powerful earthquake rocks Syria and Turkey, killing more than 2,500


A powerful 7.8-magnitude quake shook large swaths of Turkey and Syria early Monday morning, collapsing hundreds of buildings, killing more than 2,500 people, collapsing thousands of buildings and trapping residents under piles of rubble. Thousands more were injured as a result.

Officials feared the death toll would continue to rise as rescuers searched for survivors among tangled metal and concrete. More than a decade of Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis.

Awakened by the pre-dawn earthquake, residents rushed outside to escape falling debris in the rain and snow, while trapped residents screamed for help. Throughout the day, large aftershocks rattled the area, containing shocks nearly as strong as the initial quake. After dawn, workers were still cutting slabs and pulling out corpses while desperate families awaited news about trapped loved ones.

“My grandchildren are one and a half years old. Please help them. I haven’t heard from them since morning, no news from them. Please, they were on the 12th floor,” said Imran Bakhr of Turkey. I cried by my destroyed apartment in the city of Adana. Her daughter and her family have yet to be found.

Tens of thousands of homeless people in Turkey and Syria spent the night in the cold. In the Turkish capital Gaziantep, about 33 kilometers from the epicenter, people took refuge in shopping malls, stadiums and community centers. Mosques were opened around the area to provide shelter.

An earthquake centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Karamanmaras has caused residents of Damascus and Beirut to rush into the streets and was felt as far away as Cairo.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said such a catastrophe could happen “once in 100 years”.

The earthquake has added to the devastation in an area that has been devastated over the past decade. On the Syrian side, the affected areas are divided between government-held territory and enclaves held by the country’s last opposition, which are surrounded by Russian-backed government forces. Meanwhile, Turkey is home to millions of refugees from the civil war.

Hundreds of families remain trapped in the rubble in rebel-held enclaves, an opposition emergency group called the White Helmets said in a statement. crammed with about 4 million people displaced from other parts of the country. Many of them live in buildings already destroyed by past bombings.

Rescue workers said strained medical facilities quickly filled up with the injured. Other facilities, including a maternity hospital, had to be evacuated, according to the SAMS medical agency.

The region lies on a major fault line and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. A similar earthquake in northwestern Turkey in 1999 killed about 18,000 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured Monday’s quake at a magnitude of 7.8 and a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles). Officials said at least 20 aftershocks followed, including a magnitude 7.5 quake.

In the Turkish city of Sanliurfa, a second strong quake in the afternoon knocked high-rise apartment buildings head-on onto the street. Video from the scene showed the structure collapsing into rubble and clouds of dust rising as bystanders screamed.

A video captures the moment a building collapsed in the Turkish city of Malatya after a series of earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria.

Officials said more than 3,700 buildings were destroyed in Turkey alone. Hospitals were damaged and he one collapsed in the Turkish city of Iskenderun.

Dr Stephen Godby, a natural disaster expert at Nottingham Trent University, says the bitter cold could reduce the time rescuers need to save trapped survivors. He added that the difficulty of operating in a region plagued by civil war only complicates relief efforts.

Offers of help flooded in from dozens of countries, the European Union and NATO, ranging from search and rescue teams to medical supplies and funding. The majority were for Turkey, and Russia and Israel had also pledged support to the Syrian government, but it was not clear if any would go into the pockets of the ravaged rebels in the northwest.

The Syrian opposition, the Syrian Civil Defense Service, described the situation in the enclave as “dire.”

Rebel-held areas, mainly in Idlib governorate, have been under siege for years, with frequent Russian and government airstrikes. The territory depends on aid flows from neighboring Turkey for everything from food to medical supplies.

At a hospital in Idlib, Osama Abdel Hamid said most of his neighbors had died. He said his four-story building they shared collapsed just as he, his wife, and his three children ran for the exit. A wooden door fell over them and acted as a shield.

“God has given me a new lease on life,” he said.

Powerful earthquake hits Turkey and Syria, thousands dead: photos

In Azmarin, a small Syrian rebel-controlled town in a mountainous area near the border with Turkey, the corpses of several children wrapped in blankets were taken to hospital.

Turkish TV stations broadcast relief efforts live in the worst-hit provinces on four or five screens. In the city of Kahramammaras, rescuers pulled her two children alive from the rubble.

In Adana, about 20 people, some in emergency rescue jackets, used power saws on the cement pile of a collapsed building to allow survivors to scale and rescue. I carved out the place.

“I have no more strength,” rescue workers could be heard yelling from under the rubble of another building in Adana earlier in the day.

In Diyarbakir, hundreds of rescue workers and civilians line up across a pile of rubble, handing out broken pieces of concrete, household items and other debris while searching for trapped survivors while an excavator is underneath. I dug the rubble.

Turkish officials say more than 1,600 people have been killed and more than 11,000 injured in 10 Turkish provinces. The death toll in government-held areas of Syria surpassed her at 539, with around 1,300 injured, according to the health ministry. In the rebel-held northwest of the country, at least 380 people were killed and hundreds injured, according to groups operating there.

Hussein Yaiman, a parliamentarian for Turkey’s Hatay province, said several members of his family were trapped under the rubble of a collapsed house.

“There are many other people trapped inside,” he told HaberTurk TV by phone. “There are a lot of damaged buildings. People are in the streets. is.”


Alsayed reported from Azmarin, Syria, and Fraser from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press writers Zeynep Bilginsoy of Istanbul, Bassem Mroue and Kareem Chehayeb of Beirut, and Kim Tong-hyung of Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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