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Two massive earthquakes rock Turkey and Syria as death toll exceeds 1,300



People search through rubble following an earthquake in Adana, Turkey February 6, 2023. 

Iha | Reuters

A second earthquake of 7.6 magnitude struck southern Turkey on Monday, within 12 hours of a first massive quake that already claimed hundreds of Turkish and Syrian lives, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.

AFAD said the second quake took place at 1:32 p.m. local time at a 7km depth and had its epicenter in the Elbistan region of the Kahramanmaras province.

Earlier on Monday, roughly 1,300 lives were lost as a first powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the first earthquake killed 912 and wounded 5,385 people in Turkey alone, describing the event as the “biggest disaster” since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, according to Turkish state-owned news agency Anadolu. Around 2,818 buildings were toppled, the head of state added.

Syria’s state news agency reported 371 deaths and 1,089 injured in the Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartous regions, as a result of the first earthquake. The humanitarian White Helmets rescue service, which operates in Turkey and the opposition-controlled parts of Syria, had earlier estimated Syrian life losses near 221, with 419 injured.

People search through rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey February 6, 2023.

Sertac Kayar | Reuters

The European Union said in a statement that it has mobilized 10 search and rescue teams in response to the tragedy: “10 Urban Search and Rescue teams have been quickly mobilised from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania to support the first responders on the ground,” it said.

“Italy and Hungary have offered their rescue teams to Türkiye as well. The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in direct contact with the authorities in Türkiye to coordinate further support if needed.”

The EU said it is also ready to offer support to Syria through its humanitarian assistance programs. The EU Council in May 2022 extended its sanctions against President Bashar Assad’s regime for an additional year, stretching to June 2023, “in light of its continued repression of the civilian population in the country.”


Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended condolences and an offer of assistance to Ankara and Damascus, Moscow’s state news agency Tass reported.

People search through rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey February 6, 2023.

Sertac Kayar | Reuters

Source: CNBC

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