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Two Powerful Earthquakes Struck Turkey And Syria Killing More Than 1,000 People

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A massive earthquake in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, has killed over 1,000 people as they slept and trapped many others. The tremors scaled up to 7.8 magnitudes, which struck at 04:17 local time (05: 17 MUT), at a depth of 17.9 km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the death toll was, at the time of speaking, at 912.

The Syrian health ministry stated that 371 people have died in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus. In the rebel-controlled areas of north-western Syria where the White Helmets rescue group operates, 147 people have died, it said on Twitter.

Rescue teams have been sent in to look for survivors under massive amounts of rubble after many buildings have collapsed.

A second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck the Elbistan district of the Kahramanmaras province hours later.

The epicenter of the second earthquake was 80 miles north of the first tremor in the Pazarcik district of Kahramanmaras province. It hit the area at 13:24 local time (14:24 MUT).

The preceding earthquake was “independent” of this one, according to a disaster and emergency management authority official in Turkey.

At least 500 people have died in Syria and over 900 in Turkey so far, according to reports.

Following the initial earthquake, at least 70 deaths were already recorded throughout Kahramanmaras, while 80 people perished in Gaziantep.

Many buildings have collapsed due to the quake, as well as Gaziantep Castle, a historical landmark that stood for 2000 years.

Around 10 cities have been affected, including Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis, said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Deaths were reported in various places such as Diyarbakir and Osmaniye. The tremors of the quake were also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.

Turkey is situated in the world’s most active earthquake zone.

In 1999, a devastating earthquake that shook the country’s northwest claimed the lives of almost 17,000 people.

A student in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, told a UK-based news broadcaster BBC, “I was writing something and just all of a sudden the entire building started shaking and yes I didn’t know what to feel.”

He added, “It went for four to five minutes and it was pretty horrific. It was mind-blowing.

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