Turkey and Syria hit by powerful 7.8 earthquake, hundreds dead

A man walks past by a collapsed building after an earthquake in Malatya, Turkey February 6, 2023. Depo Photos via REUTERS

Hundreds of people have died after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday morning.

Tremors were felt as far away as Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt.
By mid-morning local time the death toll had risen to at least 350 and hundreds more injured, Turkey officials told news agencies.
Syrian officials also reported at least 200 dead.

The US Geological Service said a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Gaziantep, a key industrial hub near the border with Syria.
Officials in both Turkey and Syria have said rescue workers have been deployed to pull survivors from the rubble.

“I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.

“We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage.”

Early reports said buildings had been destroyed in a number of provinces in southern Turkey while the governor of Malatya Province said at least 130 buildings had collapsed in the regional capital.

Syria’s state media also reported that some buildings had collapsed in Aleppo and the central city of Hama. Tremors were also felt in Damascus.

Meanwhile, the head of Syria’s National Earthquake Center, Raed Ahmed, told local media that this was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center.”

Syria’s White Helmets rescue organization meanwhile said buildings also collapsed in the rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria, adding that the situation was “disastrous.”