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HomeNewsTurkey Earthquake death toll could reach 10,000

Turkey Earthquake death toll could reach 10,000

Turkey Earthquake death toll could reach 10,000

THOUSANDS are expected to perish after two “once-in-a-century” earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria today.

A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest in 100 years, was followed hours later by another massive 7.5 magnitude quake, destroying at least ten cities.

Survivors digging through the rubble of flattened homes with their bare hands were filmed pulling children to safety amid scenes of utter destruction.

Tsunami warnings were issued along the Mediterranean coasts of Greece, Cyprus, and Italy, and shaking was felt as far away as Egypt.

By late afternoon, the confirmed death toll had risen to over 1,900, but the US Geological Survey warned that it could rise to 10,000 once rescuers reach the hardest hit areas.

When the initial mega-quake struck at 4 a.m. local time, most victims were asleep.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was the largest in Turkey in “hundreds of years,” according to geophysics professor Martin Mai.

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At a depth of about 15 miles, it struck near Gaziantep in eastern Turkey.

It was followed by at least 30 powerful aftershocks that toppled already damaged buildings and left huge piles of dust in their wake.

Then, shortly before 1.30 pm, a second massive quake measuring 7.5 sent terrified residents fleeing into the streets.

Buildings were seen collapsing as rescue workers fled for their lives amid the dust and chaos.

The second quake, which was only six miles deep, would have been the most powerful in the region since 1999.

Northern Syria was also wracked by double shocks that caused buildings to violently shake from side to side.

It is expected to be one of the worst disasters ever in a region prone to catastrophic earthquakes.

“Turkey has had four of the world’s deadliest earthquakes in the last 50 years, so it is no stranger to the deadly consequences of such events,” said UCL professor Joanna Faure Walker.

According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, at least 1,121 people have died so far.

Another 7,634 people were injured, and 2,834 buildings were damaged, according to the report.

On Monday afternoon, the known death toll in northern Syria, home to four million war refugees, stood at 810.

Earlier, terrifying images showed the devastation caused by tower blocks collapsing, crushing, and trapping people inside at 4 a.m. local time.

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The epicenter was near the Turkish town of Nurdagi, and it struck just before dawn.

The ground began to tremble as many people remained awake in their beds, unable to flee.

There were up to 78 aftershocks that lasted until daylight, with the strongest measuring 6.6.

A massive column of fire was seen elsewhere as a gas pipeline ruptured.

Footage widely circulated on social media allegedly depicts the scene in Kahramanmara as flames lit up the night sky.

According to BOTAS, gas flows have been suspended in the city and into Hatay and Kahramanmaraş following the explosion.

Buildings have collapsed across a 200-mile radius, from Diyarbakir in Turkey to Aleppo and Hama in Syria.

The worst devastation occurred near the epicenter of the earthquake, between Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, where entire city blocks lay in ruins under the falling snow.

The earthquake caused the collapse of Gaziantep Castle, which was built over 2,200 years ago.

As dawn broke, desperate rescue efforts were underway to free those trapped beneath the rubble.

A video showed a family being rescued from the wreckage of their home in Turkey, as well as a young boy being rescued in Syria.

Buildings in Syria that had already been damaged by years of civil war collapsed in areas populated by millions of refugees fleeing the country’s civil war.

“We fear there will be hundreds of deaths,” said doctor Muheeb Qaddour in the town of Atmeh.

Turkey has declared a state of emergency, and assistance is being offered from all over the world.

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In Turkey, shocked survivors rushed out into the snow-covered streets in their pajamas, watching rescuers dig through the debris of destroyed homes.

“Seven members of my family are under the debris,” Muhittin Orakci, a stunned survivor in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish city, told AFP.

“My sister and her three children have joined us. Her husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law are also present.”

A winter blizzard covered major roads in ice and snow, complicating the rescue.

The quake rendered three major airports in the area inoperable, complicating the delivery of critical aid.

Because so many buildings were destroyed, Kahramanmaras Governor Omer Faruk Coskun said it was too early to estimate the death toll.

“At the moment, it is not possible to give the number of dead and injured because so many buildings have been destroyed,” Coskun said.

“The damage is severe.”

Images on Turkish television showed rescuers digging through rubble in the city centers and residential neighborhoods of almost all of the major cities along the Syrian border.

A famous mosque from the 13th century partially collapsed in the province of Maltaya, as did a 14-story building with 28 apartments.

Anguished rescuers struggled to reach survivors trapped beneath the debris in other cities.

“We hear voices here and there,” one rescuer was overheard saying on NTV television in front of a flattened building in Diyarbakir.

“There could be 200 people beneath the rubble.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will face intense pressure to oversee an effective response to the disaster as the country prepares for a hotly contested election on May 14.

“We hope to get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with as little damage as possible,” Turkey’s president tweeted.

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“My thoughts are with the people of Türkiye and Syria this morning, particularly with those first responders working so valiantly to save those trapped by the earthquake,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted.

“The United Kingdom stands ready to assist in any way we can.”

Washington is “deeply concerned,” according to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

“We stand ready to provide any assistance that is required,” Sullivan said.

Additional assistance has been offered by the European Union, Russia, Italy, and Turkey’s historic rival Greece, whose relations with Ankara have been strained by a series of the border and cultural disputes.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has also offered “necessary assistance” to Turkey, whose combat drones are assisting Kyiv in fighting the Russian invasion.

The quake was felt in Lebanon and Syria, as well as in Cyprus and Cairo.

Lebanese were jolted awake, with many driving away from swaying buildings.

“I was writing something when the entire building started shaking, and yes, I didn’t know what to feel,” Mohamad El Chamaa, a student in Beirut, told the BBC.

“I was right next to the window so I was just scared that they might shatter.

“It went on for four to five minutes and it was pretty horrific. It was incredible.”

People attempting to flee quake-stricken areas in Turkey caused traffic jams, hampering the efforts of emergency teams attempting to reach the affected areas.