More than thousand dead as powerful earthquake shakes Turkey, Syria

More than thousand dead as powerful earthquake shakes Turkey, Syria

Ankara/ Damascus (Web Desk): A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing hundreds, levelling buildings while people were still in their sleep, and sending tremors that were felt as far away as the island of Cyprus.

The quake struck at 04:17am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles), the US agency said, with a 6.7-magnitude aftershock striking 15 minutes later.

Turkey’s AFAD emergencies service centre put the first quake’s magnitude at 7.4.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) says initial reports from quake-hit areas in the country’s southeast indicate that at least 912 people have died.

In a statement carried by the state-run Anadolu Agency, AFAD listed the affected regions so far as Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis.

It said an additional 440 people were reported injured.

The organisation has also declared a “level 4 alarm” and called for international help.

It said 42 aftershocks were recorded following Monday’s quake.

More than 100 people have been killed in government-held parts of Syria, the Syrian health ministry said in a statement.

“At least 516 injuries and 320 deaths recorded in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus,” the ministry said in a statement.