At Least 200 Dead As 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Turkey, Syria
A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck a broad area in Turkey and Syria, causing at least 200 fatalities and leaving many others trapped.
The earthquake, which occurred at 4:17 AM local time, had a depth of approximately 17.9 kilometers (11 miles) and was followed by a 6.7 magnitude aftershock 15 minutes later, as per the US Geological Survey. The emergency service center of Turkey's AFAD put the magnitude of the initial quake at 7.4.
Buildings across southern Turkey, including cities such as Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, were leveled by the earthquake, with most people caught in their sleep. Erdem, a resident of Gaziantep near the quake's epicenter, reported to Reuters, "I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I've lived."
In Turkey, the death toll has reached at least 100, with hundreds of injuries reported. The death toll is expected to rise due to the extensive damage. In Syria, the earthquake reportedly killed more than 100 people and injured many others in the provinces of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his best wishes to those affected by the earthquake in a tweet, "We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage."
Syria's National Earthquake Center Head, Raed Ahmed, stated that this was "historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center."
The tremors were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus, with people in Beirut and Tripoli running into the streets and getting into their cars to escape collapsing buildings.
Turkey is located in one of the world's most active seismic zones, with the 1999 earthquake resulting in over 17,000 fatalities, the worst in decades.endNewsMessage1