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GreekReporter.comEuropeMassive Earthquake Kills Thousands in Turkey and Syria

Massive Earthquake Kills Thousands in Turkey and Syria

Turkey earthquake
Buildings collapsed in south-eastern Turkey after two massive earthquakes hit the country. Video screenshot/YouTube/Anadolu Agency

More than 4,500 people have been killed and scores have been injured in Turkey and Syria after two powerful earthquakes on Monday within the space of 12 hours.

The first quake struck as people slept, and measured magnitude 7.8, one of the most powerful quakes in the region in at least a century. It was felt as far away as Cyprus and Cairo.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said preliminary data showed the second large quake measured 7.7 magnitude, and was 67km (42 miles) northeast of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, at a depth of 2km.

This is the moment the second earthquake at lunchtime local time hits Turkey sending people running in panic:

There have been more than 100 smaller aftershocks registered by seismologists.

In Turkey at least 2,921 people were killed across 10 provinces of Turkey, with another 15,834 injured, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

The death toll in government-held areas of Syria rose to more than 1,444 people. In the country’s north-west where the government is not in control, groups that operate there said the death toll was at least 380, with many hundreds injured.

There are fears the death toll will rise sharply in the coming hours.

Many buildings have collapsed and rescue teams have been deployed to search for survivors under huge piles of rubble.

On the streets in towns and cities across southeast Turkey and Syria, people have fled their homes to take shelter in cars, fearing aftershocks and more collapsed buildings.

Rescue workers and residents are still frantically searching for survivors under the rubble of crushed buildings in multiple cities on both sides of the border.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleymon Soylu said 10 cities were affected: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.

The tremor’s damage has centered on southern Turkey and Syria, but it was also felt in nearby Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s most senior diplomat, has tweeted that the 27-country bloc is ready to help Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

“Devastating earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria this morning, claiming the lives of hundreds of people and injuring many more. Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria. The EU is ready to help,” he said.

Greece vowed on Monday morning to help Turkey deal with the disaster. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted that “Greece is mobilizing its resources and will assist immediately.”

Turkey is an earthquake zone

The entire country of Turkey is prone to a great deal of seismic activity, but earthquakes of such huge magnitude are not very common.

The geological formation called the Anatolian Rift, where the Gaziantep province sits on, can suffer from very powerful earthquakes.

This particular seismic activity makes Turkey move west, towards the Aegean, at a speed of 25 millimeters (.9 inches) per year, along the North Anatolian Rift. The Aegean Sea actually follows this movement as well, advancing at the same speed as the continent of Europe along the North Aegean Trench to the west.

This is a breaking news story; more to follow.

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