Early on Monday morning, a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook southern Turkey and northern Syria, causing hundreds of houses to collapse and killing more than 1,300 people. The number of fatalities is anticipated to increase throughout the day.
Hundreds of people were still buried beneath the debris as rescue crews combed through piles of debris in towns and cities all around the region.
Residents were forced outside by the early morning earthquake as houses were leveled and powerful aftershocks persisted over a cold, rainy, and snowy winter night.
According to the AP, rescue personnel and locals in numerous locations searched through massive mounds of concrete and metal for survivors.
In a statement. Syria’s health ministry said, “Six hundred and thirty-nine people were injured and 237 were killed in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus.”
According to Omar Alwan, the medical response coordinator for the area, at least eight persons were killed in the districts of Azaz and Al-Bab in northern Syrian areas controlled by pro-Turkish militias. He said that the figure was expected to grow as long as search and rescue activities were ongoing.
“We have been working on rescuing survivors and recovering the dead from under the rubble,” Alwan said. Numerous rescuers and locals labored in the dark, using flashlights to search the debris for survivors.
The US Geological Survey reported that the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck close to Gaziantep in southeast Turkey on Monday at 04:17 (0117 GMT) at a depth of around 17.9 kilometers (11 miles).
According to AFP correspondents, Lebanon, Syria, and Cyprus also felt the shocks.
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