Powerful Earthquake Rocks Turkey, Syria: Death Toll Stands at 1,300+ and Rising

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday morning, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing more than 1,300 people. The death toll is expected to rise throughout the day.

Rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area as hundreds of people remained trapped under rubble.

The pre-dawn quake drove residents outside outside on a cold, rainy and snowy winter night, as buildings were flattened and strong aftershocks continued.

Rescue workers and residents in multiple cities searched for survivors, working through tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete, AP reports.

A car is seen under the wreckage of a collapsed building, in Azmarin town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

“Six hundred and thirty-nine people were injured and 237 were killed in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus,” the Syrian health ministry said in a statement.

In northern Syrian areas controlled by pro-Turkish factions, at least eight people were killed in the regions of Azaz and Al-Bab, Omar Alwan, the medical response coordinator for the area told AFP, adding the number was likely to rise as search and rescue operations were ongoing.

“We have been working on rescuing survivors and recovering the dead from under the rubble,” he said, as dozens of rescuers and residents toiled in the darkness, looking for survivors in the rubble with their flashlights.

A view of debris of a collapsed building after 7.4 magnitude Kahramanmaras earthquake shakes Idlib, Syria on February 06, 2023. At least 427 people lost their lives and hundreds were wounded in various parts of Syria. (Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Rescue and search efforts continue on collapsed 14-store-building after 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Adana, Turkiye on February 06, 2023. (Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey on Monday at 04:17 am (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

The tremors were felt in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, according to AFP correspondents.

More to come…

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