DIYARBAKIR/ANKARA: On Monday, a powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake shook central Turkey and northwest Syria, killing dozens of people, wounding hundreds more when buildings fell, and sparking searches for survivors buried under the rubble throughout the wintry area.
The earthquake, which occurred in the early hours of a winter morning, was felt in Lebanon and Cyprus as well.
Turkish authorities reported the deaths of 2,921 persons after strong earthquakes struck Turkey’s southeastern area bordering Syria. Another 1,444 persons have been confirmed dead in Syria.
In contrast to the EMSC monitoring agency, which stated that the possibility of a tsunami risk was being assessed, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) reported that the earthquake struck at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) close to the city of Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey.
According to a Reuters witness in Diyarbakir, 350 kilometers (218 miles) to the east, the tremor lasted for nearly a minute and broke the window.
Images of people searching for survivors near a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras were broadcast by TRT and Haberturk.
Salih Ayhan, the governor of Türkiye’s Sanliurfa Province, tweeted that “we have destroyed structures” and advised residents to flee to safe areas.
In contrast to what a source in the Hama civil service claimed, the Syrian official media reported that many structures collapsed in the province of Aleppo.
Samer, a resident of Damascus, the capital of Syria, claimed that paintings had fallen off the walls of the home. “I awoke scared. We are all dressed and waiting at the entrance right now.
According to witnesses, residents of Damascus, as well as the Lebanese cities of Beirut and Tripoli, fled their homes in case of building collapses by taking to the streets on foot and driving their automobiles.
Strong earthquakes frequently hit the region.
The director of the Turkish Red Cross asked residents to leave damaged homes as the organization was mobilizing services for the area after learning of catastrophic damage and collapsed buildings.