The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which has caused devastation in the Turkish province of Gaziantep looks apocalyptic which has left thousands dead and more than 10,000 injured.
The latest figures coming out of Turkey reveals that more than 2,300 are confirmed to have been killed and it is sadly expected that this number will rapidly rise over the coming hours and days.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) they have warned that the death toll could reach as high as 10,000.
Latest figures from Turkey’s disaster agency show that more than 10,000 people have been injured and again, it is expected that these figures could rise.
The earthquake has destroyed large swaths of land hundreds of miles from the epicentre and thousands of buildings are completely destroyed.
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Rescue workers and residents are desperately searching for any survivors who are buried under the rubble and were most likely asleep when the first earthquake struck.
The powerful earthquake also hit neighbouring Syria and even the capital Damascus which is far south, tremors were also felt in the Middle East, Egypt and Cyprus where a “small tsunami” alert was ordered which struck off the Famagusta coast line on Monday morning.
The moment a child was rescued from under the rubble in the Turkish state of Sanliurfa pic.twitter.com/4v9FSFg47I
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Mohammed Hamza, head of Islamic Relief’s office in Idlib, northwest Syria, described the scenes when he was woken.
Hamza said, “It was 4am and I woke up to the house shaking from side to side.
“Everything was shaking, bricks were falling out. It felt like Judgement Day, and everything would be completely destroyed.
“My wife was screaming, and I went to my children but I didn’t know what we could do.
The destruction in Turkey is horrific as aftershocks continue to make the situation worse. Here is a video from Elbistan, which is a district in the Turkish Province of Kahramanmaraş.
Americans stand with you all in Syria and Turkey. pic.twitter.com/vAEV8lLL2U
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 6, 2023
“We fled outside and saw thousands of people on the streets with just the clothes on their backs. People were shouting for their lost children – whole families were separated and lost.
“So many buildings were totally destroyed, and I saw tens of people under the rubble, with crowds trying to pull them out.”
A doctor who is on the ground in Gaziantep described the sheer horror of the scale of destruction and said “it’s terrifying.”
Country director of Turkey and Syria Human Appeal, Dr Ubeyd Sakin, said that whilst there is mass destruction in the city, it is a far worse situation on the outskirts of Gaziantep.
🇺🇦Ukraine is ready to send rescuers to 🇹🇷Turkey. Coordination with the Turkish side is underway, – MFA of Ukraine pic.twitter.com/Th3vhBrIO8
— Alina Milić 🇺🇦 (@AlinaMilic) February 6, 2023
Dr Sakin told Sky News at around 15:30 on Monday, “Around 45 minutes ago there was an aftershock of more than 6 magnitude, and it did cause extra damage,” Dr Sakin added.
“This is the second-biggest earthquake in the last century… I was with my family and all of a sudden it became chaos.
“It is terrifying.”
He warned that currently Turkey does not have a “clear picture” of exactly what they require, but shelter, blankets clothes, hot meals and hygiene kits will certainly be in high demand.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this is the worst disaster to hit Turkey since December 1939, and that so far 45 countries have offered help with search and rescue teams.
Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas affected.
He added, “We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Twitter, the UK “stands ready to help in whatever way we can.”
Sunak said, “My thoughts are with the people of Türkiye and Syria this morning, particularly with those first responders working so valiantly to save those trapped by the earthquake.
“The UK stands ready to help in whatever way we can.”