Turkey Hit with M7.8 Earthquake: Thousands Estimated Dead

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: Mint

Central Turkey and northwest Syria were hit by a major earthquake in the early hours of Monday. The earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale, left a trail of devastation in its wake. The death toll is reportedly in the thousands and is rising by the hour. However, some reports estimate the death toll to reach 10,000. Furthermore, many civilians are still trapped under debris, as rescue operations continue to take place.

Ten cities, including Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir, and Kilis, were reportedly affected, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleymon Soylu. The earthquake’s epicenter was near Gaziantep, a city in Turkey. Moreover, the tremors have been as far as Cyprus and Lebanon. One resident of Gaziantep stated,

“I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I’ve lived.”

Furthermore, following the original tremor, which was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as having a magnitude of 7.8, a number of further earthquakes were detected. A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck Gaziantep, and a 5.6-magnitude one struck the city’s Nurdag neighborhood. Turkey’s disaster agency has sounded a Level-4 alarm, which calls for international assistance.

United States White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, said that the US was concerned by today’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Sullivan said that the US is ready to provide all needed assistance in this disaster.

Moreover, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, also took to Twitter to assure India’s solidarity with the Turkish people. Additionally, Prime Minister Modi has also offered “all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy.”

Apart from Turkey, the earthquake hit parts of Syria

The majority of casualties in Syria, according to Syrian official media, occurred in the areas of Hama, Aleppo, Latakia, and Salqin. The report mentioned that large structures have been torn down. Moreover, over 50 people are declared dead, according to official sources. However, the death toll is expected to rise sharply as rescue operators clear the debris from the disaster.

Additionally, according to a member of the White Helmets rescue organization,  

“The situation is very tragic, tens of buildings have collapsed in the city of Salqin.”

Additionally, witnesses reported that residents of Damascus and the Lebanese towns of Beirut and Tripoli fled their buildings in case they fell and got into their automobiles.