At least 234 killed in Turkiye’s massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake, 110 dead in Syria. Earthquake Most Powerful In A Century hits Turkey, Syria, Over 1,200 Dead as we write. Turkey’s AFAD emergencies service centre put the first quake’s magnitude at 7.4, adding that it was followed by more than 40 aftershocks.
The most powerful earthquake in nearly a century struck Turkey and Syria early Monday, killing over 1,200 people in their sleep, levelling buildings and causing tremors felt as far away as Iraq. The 7.8-magnitude quake wiped out entire sections of major Turkish cities in a restless region filled with millions of people who have fled the civil war in Syria and other conflicts.
Raed Ahmed, The head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, told pro-government radio that this was “the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”.
At least 326 people died in government-controlled parts of Syria, according to the latest count. At least 912 people also died in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
“Seven members of my family are under the debris,” Muhittin Orakci, a stunned survivor in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, told AFP.
“My sister and her three children are there. And also her husband, her father-in-law and her mother-in-law.”
The rescue was being hampered by a winter blizzard that covered major roads in ice and snow. Officials said the quake made three major airports in the area inoperable, further complicating deliveries of vital aid.