Dozens of collapsed buildings are reported in various cities in both countries. The fateful balance could increase while trying to rescue dozens of people trapped in the rubble.
Last updated at 07:15 CET.
The southeast of Turkey was shaken in the early hours of this Monday (02.06.2023) by a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 degrees, which could be felt in numerous cities and neighboring countries, local Turkish authorities reported, initially reporting 76 deaths. . In neighboring Syria, 237 deaths are preliminarily reported.
The series of earthquakes that shook southeastern Turkey and neighboring countries on Monday has left 440 injured, Turkish authorities reported.
The figure is the first balance of the state agency AFAD for emergencies, updated for 04:30 CET, but rescue efforts continue in ten provinces and it is feared that the destruction is much greater.
The governorate of Turkey’s Sanliurfa province, located southeast of the epicenter, reported 12 deaths in 16 collapsed buildings.
Osmaniye Governor Erdinc Yilmaz told AHaber TV that 34 buildings collapsed in his province, killing five.
International aid request
The Turkish Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, announced that the Turkish authorities have issued the grade 4 state of alarm, which includes the request for international aid.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on his Twitter account: “We hope that we can overcome this catastrophe as soon as possible and with as little damage as possible.”
An AHaber TV reporter reported from Malatya, further north, that many buildings have collapsed there.
“A large hotel, in which there were many people, has collapsed. Many people are working on the rubble. There are many people trapped,” the reporter said live.
The epicenter of the quake, which lasted about 30 seconds at around 4:17 local time (02:17 CET), was the Kahramanmaras region, some 600 kilometers southeast of Ankara, at a depth of seven kilometers, the Presidency of Management of Disasters and Emergencies (AFAD).
In the first live images of the Turkish news networks, collapsed buildings were seen, although no casualties have been reported so far.
Minutes later another earthquake was registered, with a magnitude of 6.4 degrees, as confirmed by the Minister of the Interior, Suleyman Soylu, on Twitter.
Yildirim Kurt, a farmer living near Kahramanmaras, explained to EFE by phone that the people in the area “are in a panic.”
“We woke up to a strong earthquake. Our house did not collapse but everything inside the house has fallen to the ground,” he said.
“Our neighbors’ house has collapsed. We have a problem with communications. We are all outside, in the open air. I was able to speak with relatives in nearby towns. They say that many buildings have collapsed there,” Kurt said.
In Syria, at least 237 people died and another 639 were injured due to the earthquake that occurred this morning with an epicenter in the southeast of Turkey, near the border between the two countries, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported.
Deputy Health Minister Ahmad Dumeira told the state news agency that 200 people were also injured in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.
“Eight people have died in the Azaz and Al Bab regions,” a source at a local hospital told AFP, adding that the toll could rise as search and rescue operations continue in Syria.