World mourns as earthquake kills over 2,700 in Turkey, Syria..
Written by City Radio on February 7, 2023
A huge earthquake killed more than 2,700 people across a swathe of Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday, with freezing winter weather adding to the plight of the many thousands left injured or homeless and hampering efforts to find survivors, Reuters reports.
The magnitude 7.8 quake brought down whole apartment blocks in Turkish cities and piled more devastation on millions of Syrians displaced by years of war.
The worst tremor to strike Turkey this century came before sunrise in harsh weather and was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.
“It was like the apocalypse,” said Abdul Salam al-Mahmoud, a Syrian in the northern town of Atareb. “It’s bitterly cold and there’s heavy rain, and people need saving.”
The second quake was big enough to bring down more buildings and, like the first, was felt across the region, endangering rescuers struggling to pull casualties from the rubble.
She was nursing a broken arm and had injuries to her face.
The earthquake was the biggest quake recorded worldwide by the U.S. Geological Survey since a tremor in the remote South Atlantic in August 2021.
In Turkey, the death toll stood at 1,541, Vice President Fuat Oktay said. At least 928 people were killed in Syria, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the northwestern region controlled by insurgents.
Poor internet connections and damaged roads between some of the worst-hit cities in Turkey’s south, homes to millions of people, hindered efforts to assess and address the impact.
Temperatures in some areas were expected to fall to near freezing overnight, worsening conditions for people trapped under rubble or left homeless. Rain was falling on Monday after snowstorms swept the country at the weekend.
It is already the highest death toll from an earthquake in Turkey since 1999, when a tremor of similar magnitude devastated the heavily populated eastern Marmara Sea region near Istanbul, killing more than 17,000.