A major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday. Killing more than 1900 people and injuring hundreds as buildings collapsed across the region. Triggering searches for survivors in the rubble.
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and Syria early Monday. Toppling hundreds of buildings and killing more than 1,900 people. Hundreds were still believed to be trapped under rubble. The toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area.
On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside on a cold, rainy, and snowy night. Buildings were reduced to piles of pancaked floors, and major aftershocks or new quakes. Including one nearly as strong as the first, continued to rattle the region.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said the death toll had reached at least 1900 people in the country alone, with 7,634 more wounded.
In Syria, where around 4 million people had been displaced by nearly 12 years of civil war. Hundreds more were crushed to death in buildings already destroyed or weakened by bombardment.
Strained health facilities and hospitals were quickly filled with wounded, rescue workers said. Others had to be emptied, including a maternity hospital, according to the SAMS medical organization. The Syrian health ministry reported damage across the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Tartus. Where Russia is leasing a naval facility.
World is united
The Turkish Red Crescent has called for citizens to make blood donations. The organisation’s president, Kerem Kınık, said on Twitter that additional blood and medical products were being sent to the affected region.
Following an international appeal for help, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 45 countries had offered support. The European Union is sending search and rescue teams to Turkey. While rescuers from the Netherlands and Romania are already on their way. The UK has said it will send 76 search and rescue specialists, equipment, and rescue dogs to Turkey.
France, Germany, Israel, and the United States have also pledged to help. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered help to both Turkey and Syria, as has Iran.