A 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Monday rocked Turkey’s southern province of Hatay and northern Syria, killing three people and sparking fresh panic after a February 6 tremor that left nearly 45,000 dead in both countries.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said three people were killed and 213 were taken to hospital, while in Syria White Helmets said more than 130 people were injured and that some already damaged buildings had collapsed.
Monday’s quake hit the Turkish town of Defne at 8:04 pm (1704 GMT) and was strongly felt in countries in the region, including Lebanon, AFP reported.
Turkey’s disaster management agency said on Twitter another 5.8-magnitude quake followed three minutes later and its epicenter was Samandag district in Hatay.
The agency recorded two more tremors of 5.2 magnitude around 20 minutes after the first on Monday.
Soylu said rescue workers were trying to find people trapped under rubble.
An AFP journalist reported scenes of panic in Antakya, adding that the new tremors raised clouds of dust in the devastated city. The walls of badly damaged buildings crumbled while several people, apparently injured, called for help.
On a street in Antakya, Ali Mazlum, 18, told AFP: “We were with (disaster response agency) AFAD who were looking for the bodies of our family when the quake hit.
“You don’t know what to do… we grabbed each other and right in front of us, the walls started to fall. It felt like the earth was opening up to swallow us up.”
Mazlum, who has lived in Antakya for 12 years, was looking for the bodies of his sister and her family as well as his brother-in-law and his family.