Strong earthquake killed more than 2400 people across Turkey and Syria

More than 2,000 people have been killed and thousands injured by a huge earthquake that struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, in the early hours of Monday morning.

The earthquake, which hit near the town of Gaziantep, was closely followed by numerous aftershocks – including one quake which was almost as large as the first.

It was a big earthquake – registered as 7.8, classified as “major” on the official magnitude scale. It broke along about 100km (62 miles) of the fault line, causing serious damage to buildings near the fault.

The last two earthquakes hit hours after the first killer temblor of 7.8 magnitude. News agency Reuters reported that bad weather in the quake-hit regions worsened the plight.

t is Turkey’s worst disaster in decades, the country’s president said.

Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday’s disaster was the worst the country had seen since 1939 when the Erzincan earthquake in eastern Turkey killed nearly 33,000 people.

However, in 1999, there was another deadly quake that killed more than 17,000 in Turkey’s northwest.

One Kahramanmaras resident, Melisa Salman, said living in an earthquake zone meant she was used to “being shaken”, but Monday’s tremor was “the first time we have ever experienced anything like that”.

“We thought it was the apocalypse,” she said.

Many thousands of people have been injured – with at least 5,385 people hurt in Turkey and 2,000 in Syria.

Many of the victims are in war-torn northern Syria, where millions of refugees live in camps on both sides of the Syria-Turkey border. There have been dozens of fatalities reported in rebel-held areas.

Thousands of buildings have collapsed, and several videos show the moment they fell, as onlookers ran for cover. Many buildings that were four or five storeys high are now flattened, roads have been destroyed and there are huge mountains of rubble as far as the eye can see.

Among the buildings destroyed was Gaziantep Castle, a historical landmark that had stood for more than 2,000 years. 

And a shopping mall in the city of Diyarbakir collapsed a BBC Turkish correspondent there reported.

Source – BBC