7.8 quake hits Turkey, Syria: Death toll rises to 1400 [Video]
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.
- The quake killed more than 1400 — at least 900 in Turkey, and about 550 in Syria — as of this writing.
- Thousands were injured and the death toll is expected to rise as many are still trapped in the rubble.
More than 1,400 people are killed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday.
The quake hit pre-dawn and was centered in the town of Pazarcik in Turkey’s southeastern Kahramanmaras province. Several powerful aftershocks were also felt.
The deadly quake toppled thousands of buildings on both sides of the border, trapping an unknown number of people. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams frantically search for survivors in the massive piles of rubble.
Thousands of more people in both Turkey and Syria were injured, officials added.
The massive 7.8 quake, the worst to strike Turkey this century, was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon. magnitude 7.7 quake followed in the early afternoon.
The damage by the second quake has not been reported yet. Rescue workers were pulling casualties from the rubble in very cold weather when the massive second quake hit.
In Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan reported that 912 people were killed, 5,383 were injured, and 2,818 buildings had either collapsed or flattened.
“Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts although winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night makes things more difficult,” Erdogan said.
Forty-five countries had already offered to help with the search and rescue efforts, the Turkish president said.
The U.S. is closely monitoring the events, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Twitter. “We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance,” he said.
In Syria, the death toll is at least 326, and 1,042 were injured while in the Syrian rebel-held northwest, 221 people were killed.
It was Turkey’s worst and most powerful earthquake since 1999. A similar magnitude hit Izmit and the eastern Marmara Sea region near Istanbul in 1999 that left more than 17,000 dead.