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24 June, 2024
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Turkey - Syria: New 7.7 magnitude earthquake - Also felt in Cyprus

Over 1200 dead and thousands injured as rescue crews continue to pull people and animals out of the ruble

According to the Euro-Mediterranean Institute, a new earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 was recently felt in Turkey. According to Syrian state media, it was also felt in Damascus.

"This new earthquake occurred about 100 kilometers north of the previous one and was followed 12 minutes later by a magnitude 6 aftershock. The population's situation remains extremely difficult. There will be a high demand for assistance "According to a post by the Euro-Mediterranean Institute.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 7 kilometers, according to Turkey's Disaster Response Agency (AFAD), with the epicenter in the Elbistan region of Kahramanmara province.

Turkey - Syria: Dramatic hours after the 7.8 Richter, over 1,200 dead-1

The quake in question follows a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in the early hours of this morning, killing over 1,000 people and causing widespread property damage, according to reports, which has not stopped deteriorating rapidly.

The number of casualties is increasing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the death toll from the earthquake in Turkey has risen to 912 people, with 5,383 injured.

He emphasized that this is the country's worst disaster since 1939.

The country's disaster response agency (AFAD) reported that 1,800 buildings had collapsed, raising concerns that the death toll would rise even further.

"We can't predict how many people will die as search and rescue operations continue," Erdogan said.

According to the state news agency, more than 320 people have died in Syria, while 1,000 have been injured. Army forces are assisting with the rescue effort.

Airstrip for search and rescue operations

The Turkish Armed Forces have established an air corridor to allow search and rescue teams to reach the area affected by the powerful earthquake in southern Turkey, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced today.

"We mobilized our planes to send medical teams, search and rescue teams, and their vehicles to the earthquake zone," Defense Minister Houloussi Akar said in a statement issued by the ministry.

Anguish for the stranded ones

The devastating earthquake caused apartment buildings in cities such as Adana, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, and Diyarbakir to collapse.

"My sister and her three children are trapped beneath the rubble. Her husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law are also there. Seven members of our family are buried beneath the rubble "Muhitin Orakze told the French news agency that he was watching the search and rescue operation in front of an apartment building in Diyarbakir that had turned into a shapeless mass (southeast).

"Her sister is still trapped in the rubble," a woman in Diyarbakir said, pointing to another woman crying inconsolably.

According to the USGS seismological institute, the earthquake struck overnight at 04:17 (local time; 03:17 GMT) and had a focal depth of 17.9 kilometers in Iskenderun and Adiyaman.

The epicenter was in the Pazardjik district, in the province of Kahranmarmarmarmaras (southeast), about 60 kilometers away from the Syrian border in a straight line.

It should be noted that the World Health Organization expressed concern today about areas of Turkey where there has been no news since the deadly earthquake.

"At this time, national authorities are focusing on search and rescue operations," a spokesman for the agency told Reuters. "We anticipate increased needs to care for the injured and support the entire health system in affected areas."Turkey - Syria: Dramatic hours after the 7.8 Richter, over 1,200 dead-2People search a collapsed building after the earthquake in Azmarin, northern Syria's Idlib province [AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed]

Today's earthquake is the strongest recorded in Turkey since the one on August 17, 1999, which killed at least 17,000 people, including about a thousand Istanbul residents.

Difficult weather conditions

The bad weather is crippling the main airports in Diyarbakir and Malatya, where heavy snowfall continues, with many of those rescued wearing nothing but pajamas in the cold.

"We can hear voices in the rubble. Up to 200 people are believed to be trapped under the rubble "On Turkey's private NTV television network, a member of a rescue team working in a collapsed apartment building in Diyarbakir told cameras.

Residents have mobilized in the face of such devastation and are attempting to remove debris with their bare hands and buckets.

According to NTV, the Byzantine citadel of Gaziantep, built in the sixth century, has partially collapsed.

According to local media, rescue and civil protection teams, as well as Syrian firefighters, are attempting to pull survivors from the rubble.

Turkish citizens are sharing the names and locations of people trapped under the rubble in various cities via Twitter.

According to AFAD, more than 50 aftershocks have been recorded.Turkey - Syria: Dramatic hours after the 7.8 Richter, over 1,200 dead-3Rescuers pull a person from a collapsed building after the earthquake in Malatya, Turkey, where severe weather conditions are prevailing [Ihlas News Agency (IHA) via REUTERS]

According to TRT, the mayor of Adana, Zeidan Karalar, said two apartment buildings, one 17-story and one 14-story, had been destroyed.

According to Turkish Vice President Oktay, 13 people were killed in Adiyaman, and over a hundred buildings were destroyed. According to AFAD, at least 47 people were killed and 600 were injured in Malatya.

It is reported that 80 people have died, 600 have been injured, and 581 buildings have collapsed in Ghaziadeep.

Gas pipelines supplying the area were shut down as a precautionary measure or to assess the extent of the damage in the provinces of Hatai, Kahranmarmarmara, and Ghaziadep.

According to French News Agency correspondents, the earthquake and dozens of aftershocks were felt as far away as Lebanon, Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Cyprus. According to a Reuters news agency correspondent, the main earthquake lasted nearly a minute.Turkey - Syria: Dramatic hours after the 7.8 Richter, over 1,200 dead-4A man stands near a damaged vehicle after an earthquake in rebel-held Azaz, Syria [REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano]

Appeal for international aid

"All our teams have been put on alert," Turkish Minister Suleiman Soylu told Turkish private television network Habertürk, adding that his country's government had requested "international assistance."

According to Anadolu, Azerbaijan, a country with brotherly relations with Turkey, said it would immediately send 370 specialized search and rescue crew members.

The United States, France, Italy, the European Union as a whole, and Israel all immediately offered to send aid.

Despite the cold weather, the governor of Gaziantep province advised residents to remain outside until further notice. While the head of Diyanet, the Turkish public body in charge of religious worship issues, stated that citizens in need can find refuge inside mosques.

 Offer of support

Governments and international organizations have been quick to offer assistance to the affected areas in this context:

THE EUROPEAN UNION. Earlier, European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janes Lenarchic stated that the EU's 24-hour Emergency Response Coordination Centre was in contact with Turkish authorities and that the Copernicus emergency satellite mapping service had been activated to assist first responders on the ground.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The WHO's director-general announced that a network of emergency medical teams had been activated to provide basic health care to the earthquake's injured and most vulnerable victims.

GREECE: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his country's condolences and support for Turkey, stating that Greece is mobilizing its resources and will assist Turkey immediately.

SPAIN: Spanish urban rescue teams are preparing to travel to Turkey, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry, while officials from the defense ministry and other agencies are working together to send crews to Turkey as soon as possible.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that his country is prepared to send assistance. "We are currently close to the friendly Turkish people, ready to provide any assistance required."

POLAND: The interior and administration minister announced that Poland will send a rescue team of 76 firefighters and eight rescue dogs.

INDIA: The government said two teams from India's National Disaster Response Force, each comprised of 100 personnel and equipped with specially trained dog teams, were ready to deploy to the disaster area for search and rescue operations. In collaboration with the Turkish authorities, medical teams were being assembled and relief supplies were being distributed.

TAIWAN: Taiwan's fire service said it had a team of 130 people ready to go to Turkey, along with five search dogs and 13 tons of aid, and was awaiting a response from Ankara on the offer.

RUSSIA: Russia's emergency ministry said two IL-76 planes carrying 100 rescuers were on standby to fly to Turkey if necessary. President Vladimir Putin sent messages to Turkey and Syria, where Russian troops are assisting the Syrian army, offering condolences and support to the presidents of both countries.

ISRAEL: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed that all authorities make immediate preparations to provide medical and search and rescue assistance.

Erdogan said 45 countries have offered their assistance for search and rescue operations.

History of Earthquakes
Turkey has some of the world's highest seismicity. According to authorities, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the northwestern part of the country in late November, causing approximately fifty injuries and limited property damage.

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the same region in August 1999, killing at least 17,000 people, including about a thousand in Istanbul.Turkey - Syria: Dramatic hours after the 7.8 Richter, over 1,200 dead-5A civil protection vehicle near the ruins of a building in Aleppo, Syria [SANA via REUTERS]

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the provinces of Elazig and Malatya in January 2020, killing over 40 people. In the same year, a magnitude 7 earthquake on Turkey's Aegean coast killed 114 people and injured over 1,000 more.

So far, Monday's earthquake is the world's deadliest since last June, when Afghanistan lost nearly 1,000 people.

With information from Reuters, APB, and AFP


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