'What a night': Residents devastated as 7.9 magnitude earthquake kills over 500 in Turkey and Syria
ISTANBUL, TURKEY; DAMASCUS, SYRIA: A horrific earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday, February 5, has claimed hundreds of lives. According to Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay, 284 people were confirmed dead across 10 provinces. Over 2,000 people have been injured. The earthquake of magnitude 7.9 was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.
According to health officials in Syria, the death toll due to the earthquake has now risen to over 230. "The earthquake toll rose to 237 killed and 639 injured," Ahmed Damiriyye, an aide to Syria's health minister, said on Syrian state television, according to DW. On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to Twitter to convey his "best wishes" to all the citizens who were affected by the tragedy.
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A string of aftershocks were felt in southern and central Turkey, the strongest of 6.7 magnitude being felt about 11 minutes after the main quake. Another horrifying aftershock with a magnitude of 5.6 occurred 19 minutes after the main quake, according to CNN. Rescue efforts are underway in Turkey and Syria to save survivors trapped in the rubble.
Early reports claimed several buildings were also destroyed in provinces in southern Turkey. In a briefing, Turkey's vice president said that around 1,700 buildings had collapsed. State media from Syria said some buildings had collapsed in Aleppo and the central city of Hama. Residents in Damascus also felt tremors.
Last earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
The last earthquake in Turkey, before the recent one, occurred in October 2020. A magnitude 7 earthquake near Samos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea near Turkey’s coast, led to the deaths of at least 24 people. It reportedly caused more casualties in Greece.
On the other hand, the last time Syria was hit by an earthquake was January 29, 2023. The epicenter of the 4.3 magnitude quake was located at longitude 35.7382 and latitude 35.7754, 27.49 km from Ovalle.
The last deadly earthquake in the world
On November 21, 2022, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck near Cianjur in West Java, Indonesia. Between 335 and 635 people died as a result of the tragedy, and 7,729 were injured. Five people remain missing. Over 62,628 homes were damaged across 16 districts in Cianjur Regency, as well as the surrounding region. The quake was also felt in Jakarta.
Videos show the devastation caused by the earthquake
Scary footage of the recent earthquake is being shared on social media. The videos and pictures reveal the level of devastation the tragedy has caused. They show damaged roads, collapsed buildings and rubble. MEAWW could not independently verify the videos shared on Twitter.
Scary footage of the earthquake in Turkey 🇹🇷 May Allah protect them all. pic.twitter.com/5vLqFSJoSa— • (@Al__Quraan) February 6, 2023
🚨 BREAKING NEWS— Eren ☭🇹🇷 (@Eren50855570) February 6, 2023
IT IS ANNOUNCED THAT A TOTAL OF 1710 BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED DUE TO THE EARTHQUAKE IN TURKEY. There are aftershocks or buildings that have been damaged and subsequently demolished#Turkey #kahramanmaras #malatya #deprem #earthquakepic.twitter.com/UzET9pMNSa
7.4 Earthquake in Turkey very badly shaken pic.twitter.com/6PdBtfL3E9— Salih Taşalan (@salih453226) February 6, 2023
Death toll crosses over 500 as the Buildings continue to collapse after powerful earthquake hit Turkey and Syria…#earthquake #Turkey #Syria #TurkeyEarthquake #TurkeyQuake pic.twitter.com/x5WL3OXD6W— Jyot Jeet (@activistjyot) February 6, 2023
🇸🇾⚡Syrian city of Harem totally wiped out.#Turkey #TurkeyEarthquake #earthquake #BreakingNews #deprem #Syria pic.twitter.com/IpdanaSnMy— NEWS ALL TIME (@NEWS_ALL_TIME) February 6, 2023
"Oh man what a night. we are not used to earthquakes and neither are our buildings. praying for everyone in Turkey who had it even worse than leb," a user wrote on Twitter. Another said, "Prayers are with the people of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon & all other affected areas due to massive earthquake. May Allah have mercy on dead and ease the pain who survive, Ameen Ya Rab!" "Bombs, earthquake, poverty, unfortunately they have not the government that will help them after this. It's look like people in Syria have to deal for survive every day. So sorry for people to live so much tragedies et to be completely left alone to face all this," said a user.
oh man what a night. we are not used to earthquakes and neither are our buildings. praying for everyone in Turkey who had it even worse than leb— 🍓 is a witness (@hwasstrawberry) February 6, 2023
Prayers are with the people of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon & all other affected areas due to massive earthquake. May Allah have mercy on dead and ease the pain who survive, Ameen Ya Rab!#Syria #Turkey #Lebanon #earthquake— Fauzan Tanaji (@FauzanTanaji) February 6, 2023
Bombs, earthquake, poverty, unfortunately they have not the government that will help them after this. It's look like people in Syria have to deal for survive every day.— Oriannalyla 🇺🇦 (@Lyla_lilas) February 6, 2023
So sorry for people to live so much tragedies et to be completely left alone to face all this. https://t.co/D4JNVhJrIU
'People are all outside, all in fear'
As people in the town of Pazarcık feared for those who were trapped under buildings, resident Nihat Altundağ said, according to The Guardian, "Our house looks solid from the outside but there are cracks inside. There are destroyed buildings around me, there are houses on fire, there are buildings that are cracking. A building collapsed just 200m away from where I am now. We are waiting for the sun to rise so that we can see the scale of the earthquake. People are all outside, all in fear.”
“Pazarcık is in ruins,” said another resident, Hüseyin Satı. “The building where I live is not so tall, and was built in compliance with earthquake regulations, so it didn’t collapse. But still there are cracks on the walls. A neighbor of mine broke his back while jumping from the balcony during the earthquake and is now in hospital.”
"I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I've lived," said Erdem, a resident of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, according to Reuters. "We were shaken at least three times very strongly, like a baby in a crib."
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.