The rescue work continued throughout the night in the hope of pulling out more survivors after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake and many big aftershocks killed over 5,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
A massive earthquake hit southeast Turkey and Syria early on Monday (February 6), causing huge destruction and loss of lives. While the rescue operations were still on, another huge tremor of 7.5 magnitude hit Central Turkey.
The aftershocks continued with a 5.8 quake, followed by a 5.7 and then another one of 6.0 magnitude in Central Turkey, reported USGS.
Death toll in Turkey and Syria: Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said the total number of deaths in Turkey had risen to 3,419, with another 20,534 people injured. That brought the number of people killed to 5,102, with another 1,602 people confirmed dead on the Syrian side of the border.
The quakes: The US Geological Survey measured Monday's quake at 7.8, with a depth of 18 kilometers. Hours later, a 7.5 magnitude quake, likely triggered by the first, struck more than 100 kilometers away.
Animated map of seismicity near Turkey quakes starting ~3am local time plotting Feb 6 M7.8 mainshock (pink), early aftershocks (orange), M7.5 aftershock to the north (tan), and subsequent aftershocks in the north (tan). Time vs. magnitude progression shown on bottom graph. pic.twitter.com/TTa7qdZWzO— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) February 7, 2023
Rescue work: Freezing cold, snow and rain have hampered search efforts for survivors in both Turkey and Syria. One man in Hatay, a province in Turkey's south, wept in the rain as he described to Reuters the agonising wait for rescuers. "They're making noises but nobody is coming," Deniz said, at times wringing his hands in despair.
International aid: Promises of aid have poured in from the European Union, NATO, the United States, Japan, India, the UK, the Gulf states, Russia, ,Iran and many other countries after Turkey and Syria were devastated by the quake.
7 days of national mourning: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning. In a message (in Turkish) posted on Twitter, Erdogan said flags will be hoisted at half-mast at all Turkish government buildings, including embassies and consulates abroad, until sunset on Sunday, February 12.
Quake-prone area: Turkey sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. At least 18,000 people were killed in powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999. In October of that same year, a magnitude-7.0 quake hit the Aegean Sea, killing 114 people and wounding more than 1,000.