Death toll rises to over 500 in Turkiye, Syria after strong earthquake

06 Feb 2023 05:58pm
Rescuers search for victims after an earthquake hit Turkiye and Syria on Feb 6. - AFP
Rescuers search for victims after an earthquake hit Turkiye and Syria on Feb 6. - AFP
ANKARA/IDLIB - The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that jolted southern Turkiye on Monday morning has claimed more than 500 lives in the country and neighbouring Syria.

According to Turkiye Vice President Fuat Oktay, at least 284 people were killed and 2,323 others injured in the country, while 1,710 buildings collapsed after the earthquake, reported Anadolu Agency.

Turkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the 7.4 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 am (0117GMT) and 78 aftershocks occurred following the earthquake.

Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis provinces were heavily affected by the quake.

"Our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) has been following and managing the event since the moment of the earthquake," Oktay said.

He added that Hatay Airport is currently closed to flights, saying they have also closed Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep to civil flights.

Turkiye issued a level-4 alarm, which includes a call for international aid, the AFAD said in a statement.

"Assistance offers were received from many countries, especially the Netherlands, Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom," it added.

Meanwhile, the health personnel assigned from the National Defence Ministry and the Health Ministry departed from Ankara to the region with two military ambulance planes.
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Besides rescue teams, blankets, food, and psychological support team were also sent to the region.

At least 237 people have been killed and 639 others were injured in Syria following the earthquake.

Strong tremors hit Idlib, Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, and Raqqa regions of Syria, Anadolu Agency quoted the state-run SANA news agency. - Bernama