At least 1,400 people in Turkey have been killed after being hit by two earthquakes on Monday morning in the major Turkish province of Gaziantep where thousands of buildings have collapsed.
At around 4am a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria and around 10.30 a second earthquake hit measuring 7.5 magnitude which has caused widespread destruction.
The earthquake was powerful and shallow and was felt across the Middle East including Cyprus and Egypt some 800 miles away.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), and US Geological Survey (USGS), have both reported the second earthquake to hit Turkey.
In #Sanliurfa the moment a building collapsed recorded by mobile phone hours after 7.8 #earthquake hits Turkey. #deprem pic.twitter.com/YDc8DH9lbn
— JournoTurk (@journoturk) February 6, 2023
The EMSC said the second earthquake hit north Turkey and 12 minutes later a 6 magnitude aftershock then struck.
The EMSC said, “Again, it is an difficult situation for populations. A major assistance will be required.”
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.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Rescue workers saved an injured child from the rubble of collapsed buildings after a major earthquake hit Syria, killing dozens and injuring hundreds https://t.co/d3s6tUGIrM pic.twitter.com/iky9r0smB7
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 6, 2023
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.”
The USGS warned on Monday morning that the death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake could reach as high as 10,000 they estimate.
Breaking ⚡️⚡️Back to back two more #earthquake s M7.8 and M6, jolts central #Turkey and ##Syria causing huge catastrophe to the already badly effected earthquakes. Reportedly more thn 2000 people dead. Billions worth of infrastructure destroyed. pic.twitter.com/ZS5Wf6bmjs
— Megh Updates 🚨™ (@MeghUpdates) February 6, 2023
A rescue engineer has warned that the aftershocks could last “days or even weeks” and he warned that more buildings will collapse as a result.
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.”
#BREAKING #TURKIYE #TURQUIA #TURQUIE #TURKEY
🔴TURKIYE :POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE MAGNITUDE 7.4 HIT 10 CITIES IN SOUTHEASTERN REGION💔#VIDEO SANLIURFA CITY
Buildings continue to collapse due to AFTERSHOCKS #BreakingNews #UltimaHora #Earthquake #Terremoto #Temblor #Gempa #Deprem pic.twitter.com/kgEtacneUJ
— loveworld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) February 6, 2023
The US President Joe Biden has instructed the federal government to prepare to provide assistance.
He said, “The US is profoundly concerned by the reports of today’s destructive earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
“We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance. President Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess US response options to help those most affected.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the government of Turkey.”
Sky News, Mark Scorer said, “Initially, Turkey has a vast array of very well-trained teams that will be mobilised immediately to coordinate these search and rescue actions.
The level of destruction caused by the earthquake in Turkey makes it look like a war zone. This is utterly heartbreaking. Pray for Turkey and especially for the people trapped under the rubble. pic.twitter.com/PeqPXoNKlF
— KC (@kci2013) February 6, 2023
“The infrastructure to allow teams to mobilise and to get into the country may have been damaged, but the international community is well-trained for things like this.
“There will be various options and situations and scenarios they will be running through to work out the best and quickest way to get their teams into the country.”
He added, “Timing is a key issue. Teams that have already been put on standby can be there, depending on their location, within 12 to 24 hours, and then it is the first three to seven days that is critical for finding life under the rubble.”
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