Turkey and Syria were rocked by two powerful earthquakes. Nearly 2,000 people died

Two earthquakes have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 people in Turkey and neighboring Syria. According to the latest data, more than 1,100 people died in Turkey, and 783 in Syria.

Turkey and Syria were rocked by two powerful earthquakes. Nearly 2,000 people died

According to the US Geological Survey, the first earthquake occurred at 04:17 local time, the source lay at a depth of 17.9 km near the city of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey.

More than 40 aftershocks followed the first earthquake, according to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.

  • Powerful earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The search for people continues. Photos A second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 hit the southeastern Turkish region of Kahramanmaras.

Turkish authorities reported that the second earthquake occurred at a depth of 7 km. Its epicenter was in the Elbistan region of Kahramanmarash province.

According to Turkish rescue services, the death toll has already reached 1121. 783 people have died in Syria.

The World Health Organization has said it expects a significant increase in the death toll.

"I think we can expect a significant rise in the death toll," Rick Brennan, WHO's regional director for emergencies in the Eastern Mediterranean, told Reuters.

Brennan said the WHO is beefing up its staff in Gaziantep, the earthquake's epicenter, and is exploring the possibility of sending emergency medical teams to the area. Rescue work is difficult due to aftershocks after the first earthquake.

International Rescue Committee spokesman Marc Kaye told the BBC that immediate relief efforts will be focused on finding survivors.

"Today it's about saving lives. We know that hundreds of people went to bed last night and unfortunately didn't wake up this morning. This is a real tragedy and we expect the death toll to continue to rise, especially in northern Syria, where the healthcare system is simply not equipped to deal with this level of injury," he said.

Many buildings have collapsed, rescuers are looking for survivors under the rubble.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said that 10 cities were affected - Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.

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A correspondent for the BBC Turkish Service in Diyarbakir reports that a shopping center has collapsed in the city.

At least 23 people have died in the province of Malatya, northeast of Gaziantep, according to local authorities. In the city of Sanliurfa - 17 people. More deaths have been recorded in Diyarbakir and Osmaniye.

The tremors were felt in Ankara and other Turkish cities, as well as throughout the region - in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria.

Erdem, a resident of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, told Reuters by phone that his neighbors were sitting in cars or trying to drive into open spaces away from buildings.

"I have never felt anything like this in 40 years of my life," he said.

Ukrainian Maria, who lives in Gaziantep, told the BBC that she woke up at 4 am from the fact that "the apartment is shaking." "For a second I had a flashback that I was in Ukraine and it was shelling. Literally a second later I realized that this was an earthquake," she said, adding that "the house was shaking like a box of sweets."

Maria grabbed her shoes and jacket and woke up her neighbors from the basement. Together with them, people from nearby houses ran out into the street. Those who had cars left. Maria's acquaintance with the children went straight to the open field.

Syrian state media reported that a large number of buildings collapsed in Aleppo province, a Hama civil service source said several buildings collapsed there, Reuters reported.

"Paintings fell off the walls in the house," Samer, a Damascus resident, told Reuters. "I woke up terrified. We're all dressed and standing at the door."

Witnesses said people in Damascus, as well as in the Lebanese cities of Beirut and Tripoli, ran into the streets and got into cars to pull away from their homes in case of a collapse.

Rushdi Abualuf, a BBC producer in Gaza, said the house he lived in shook for about 45 seconds.

Turkish seismologists estimated the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.4. According to them, a second shock occurred in the region a few minutes later.

The head of the Turkish Red Cross, Kerem Kinik, said the organization is mobilizing resources to help the affected region.

The Kerkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which carries oil from Iraq to Turkey, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline are intact and continue to flow oil, an energy company spokesman told Reuters on Monday. However, operations at the Ceyhan oil terminal in southern Turkey had to be suspended.

Iraqi Kurdistan has temporarily suspended its oil supplies via Ceyhan, the region's Natural Resources Ministry said on Monday. Oil exports will resume after a thorough "pipeline inspection" is completed, the ministry said in a statement.

The terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean is located about 155 km from the epicenter of the earthquake.

World leaders pledge aid to the region
The European Union said it was sending rescue teams to Turkey after Ankara asked the EU for help. "Teams from the Netherlands and Romania are on their way," EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic tweeted, adding that the bloc's civil defense mechanism had been activated.

President Emmanuel Macron said that France is ready to provide emergency assistance to Turkey and Syria. "Our thoughts are with the families of the victims," ​​he tweeted.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced that a Dutch search and rescue team will join the search for survivors in Turkey and Syria. In his tweet, he also offered condolences to Turkish President Erdogan, saying: "My thoughts are with all the victims of this major natural disaster."

"The UK stands ready to provide any assistance," British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted , adding that his thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent messages to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressing condolences and offering assistance. "Please accept my deepest condolences on the many casualties and massive destruction caused by a powerful earthquake in your country," Putin said in his message to Erdogan on Monday. "We are ready to provide the necessary assistance." "We hope for a speedy recovery of all the victims and are ready to provide the assistance necessary to overcome the consequences of this natural disaster," Putin told Assad.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country, engulfed in war, "is ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of a natural disaster." Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine was "deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage" caused by the earthquake.

Spain is sending drones and a contingent from its emergency military unit, the armed forces unit responsible for disaster relief, to Turkey, Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarez said on Twitter.

Iran stands ready to provide "immediate assistance to these two friendly countries," said President Ebrahim Raisi, expressing condolences over the "heartbreaking incident."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is ready to help the victims. “I ordered the dispatch of rescue teams and medical assistance at the request of the Turkish government. This is what we are doing around the world, and this is what we are doing in regions close to us. Since there was a request to help the victims of the earthquake in Syria, I ordered this to be done ", - he said.

Poland is sending a search and rescue team of 76 firefighters and eight rescue dogs to Turkey, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski has announced. "Turkey can count on Poland," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted.

The Czech Fire Service said it was sending a 68-strong urban search and rescue team to Turkey.

Swiss President Alain Berset said the country is ready to provide emergency assistance after the "tragic" incident.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece will also mobilize its resources and "immediately" provide assistance to the affected areas.

The leaders of Serbia and Sweden also promised to send aid to the region.

The US is "deeply concerned" by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and is closely following the developments, White House security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Twitter. "I am in touch with Turkish officials to convey that we are ready to provide any assistance needed," he said.

India said it would immediately send rescue and medical teams, as well as relief supplies, to Turkey. Two National Disaster Response Force teams of 100 people with dogs and equipment are ready to be dispatched to the affected area, the Foreign Ministry said, and teams of trained doctors and paramedics are preparing with the necessary medical supplies.

China 's State Council Foreign Assistance Agency said Beijing is ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. China has expressed condolences and concern over the loss of life and property, and is in touch with Turkey and Syria, said a spokesman for the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has ordered his government to send emergency aid to Turkey, the private news site Gazeta.uz reported. With reference to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the country, the site reported that 60 rescuers and three rescue vehicles are heading to Turkey.

Pope Francis is "deeply saddened" by the earthquake and the death toll, the Vatican said.

"His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the enormous loss of life as a result of the earthquake ... he conveys assurances of his spiritual closeness to all those affected," Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolina said in a statement.

Seismic zone

The tremors from the quake were felt even in Greenland, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said. "Strong earthquakes in Turkey were clearly recorded on seismographs in Denmark and Greenland," seismologist Tine Larsen told AFP.

"We registered both earthquakes - and many aftershocks - in Denmark and Greenland," she said.

"Looking at the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude 7 and above since the beginning of instrumental records (since around 1900), today's M7.8 event is the largest earthquake ever recorded in this region, " Stephen Hicks tweeted. , a seismologist at University College London - Most major earthquakes have occurred along the North Anatolian Fault in northern Turkey.

Turkey is located in one of the most active seismic zones in the world.

In 1999, more than 17,000 people died after a powerful earthquake in the Izmit region in the northwest of the country.