Deadly quake hits southeastern Turkey near Syria, 200 fatalities
Nearly 200 people are feared were killed by the powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 that hit Turkey near the border with Syria this morning at 4.17 a.m. local time, followed by a strong aftershock of magnitude 6.7 eleven minutes later. It was the strongest quake in Turkey in more than 80 years and felt widely across the region, in several hundred kilometers distance.
Near the epicenter, 23 km (14 mi) east of the city of Nurdagi in Gaziantep province, the quake, which had shallow depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles) caused wide-spread destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and an unknown number of people is still trapped under the rubbles.According to news reports, the number of fatalities in Turkey amounts to at least 78 with more than 400 injured, while an even larger number of 111 dead and at least 500 injured comes from neighbouring northwestern Syria, where fatalities occurred in in Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus. The country has been suffering from a bloody civil war since 2011.
The area where the quake hit is located near a major active fault system that activated today. According to information so far, it was the largest earthquake in the country since December 26, 1939, when a magnitude 7.8 quake hit eastern Turkey, killing an estimated 30,000 people. Turkey is one of the world’s countries with most quakes, as it is surrounded by very active tectonic faults. Quakes of magnitudes around 7 or greater occur somewhere in Turkey every few years on average although rarely reach the strength of today’s.
Search and rescue teams are under way to the affected areas and the Turkish government has requested international help. It will probably take days until a clear picture of the full effects of the disaster are clear.
More than 70 aftershocks have already been recorded and many more are going to follow; some likely will include events of magnitudes around 5-6, which can be strong enough to cause already damaged but still standing buildings to collapse. People in the area are urged to stay outside.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred only 18 minutes ago 37 km northwest of Gaziantep, Turkey, the United States Geological Survey reported.
The quake hit at a shallow depth of 24.1 km beneath the epicenter near Gaziantep, Turkey, early morning on Monday, February 6th, 2023, at 4:17 am local time. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
A second report was later issued by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), which listed it as a magnitude 7.4 earthquake. Other agencies reporting the same quake include France’s Réseau National de Surveillance Sismique (RéNaSS) at magnitude 7.0, the citizen-seismograph network of RaspberryShake at magnitude 7.7, the citizen-seismograph network of RaspberryShake at magnitude 7.8, and the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC)at magnitude 7.6.
Generally quakes of this magnitude are recorded by more than one agency and the results can vary, with subsequent reports that come in after the first one often showing more accuracy.
If the preliminary data about magnitude and depth are correct, the quake was extremely dangerous. It has the potential to cause catastrophic impacts on people and infrastructure, probably involving severe and wide-spread damage, especially in areas near the epicenter.
Towns or cities where the quake likely caused very strong ground shaking include
Towns or cities where the quake likely caused strong ground shaking include
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