Death toll crosses 2,400 as sun sets on scenes of devastation in Türkiye and Syria

Death toll crosses 2,400 as sun sets on scenes of devastation in Türkiye and Syria

Death toll crosses 2,400 as sun sets on scenes of devastation in Türkiye and Syria

Written by Niresh Eliatamby

06 Feb, 2023 | 7:47 pm

Colombo (News 1st) – As the sun set over more than a dozen devastated cities across southern Türkiye and northern Syria, thousands of rescuers continued their grim mission of digging through the rubble of collapsed apartment blocks, after the death toll from Monday's earthquake crossed 2,400, with another 10,300 injured.

More than 3,000 buildings came crashing to the ground when the 7.8 magnitude quake hit whilst almost everyone was asleep at 4:17 a.m. By nightfall, Türkiye reported over 1,500 deaths while Syria had recovered more than 900 bodies. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of injured.

Rescue teams from a dozen countries were en route to Türkiye as the world responded to President Recip Erdogan's plea for immediate assistance. In neighboring Syria, the government has also called for help, but it is not clear how far international rescue teams will venture into that country's northern warzones. Much of the devastation in Syria is in areas not under the control of the government.

Freezing temperatures and snowstorms were hampering rescue efforts in some areas of Turkey. The threat of aftershocks is also very real, with more than 30 being felt throughout the day, one a huge tremor of 7.5 magnitude.

This is the largest quake in the region in more than 100 years and was felt in at least a dozen countries, with buildings shaking as far away as Romania, Iraq, and Egypt. The epicenter was 25 km west of the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the border with Syria

Turkey reported over deaths across seven provinces while Syria reported deaths in three provinces. Hundreds of buildings have collapsed and a large number of fires hampered rescuers as they dug through the rubble in the grim hope of finding trapped survivors.

The quake occurred at a triple juncture of three of the Earth's tectonic plates – the Anatolian, Arabian and African. It took place 17.9km below the surface of the Earth, along a line 190km long and 25km wide, according to data from the United States Geological Survey. The second large quake of the day in the region occurred 10km below the surface along a line 120km long and 18km wide, according to the USGS.

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