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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Death toll rises as Turkey, Syria rocked by 7.8 magnitude earthquake

The death toll is climbing while dozens of people remain trapped under building rubble after an earthquake shook the south of Turkey, including northern Syria on Monday morning.

The major earthquake, of magnitude 7.9, has killed more than 50 people in southern Turkey while shudders was felt in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria, collapsing dozens of buildings and triggering a search for survivors under the rubble.

Turkish authorities scrambled rescue teams and supply aircraft to the region around the city of Kahramanmaras, while declaring a “level 4 alarm” that calls for international assistance.

Early statements by officials suggested the death toll was at least 23 in Turkey’s Malatya province, 17 in Sanliurfa, six in Diyarbakir and five more in Osmaniye.

In Syria, state media said 42 had been killed.

The tremor lasted about a minute and shattered windows, according to a witness in Diyarbakir, 350km to the east, where a security official said at least 17 buildings collapsed.

The German Research Centre for Geosciences said the quake struck at a depth of 10km (6 miles), while the EMSC monitoring service said it was assessing the risk of a tsunami.

The US Geological Survey reported a series of further earthquakes following the initial tremor, which it put at a magnitude of 7.8. There was a quake measuring 6.7 in Gaziantep and another of 5.6 in the city’s Nurdag area.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority put the magnitude of the quake at 7.4 near Kahramanmaras and the larger city of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border.

Syrian state media said a large number of buildings collapsed in the province of Aleppo, while a source in the Hama civil service said several buildings had collapsed there.

Tremors were also felt overnight in Ankara, 460km (286 miles) north-west of the epicentre, and in Cyprus, where police reported no damage.



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