A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake followed by another strong quake devastated wide swaths of Turkey and Syria on Monday. The cumulative death toll in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 5,000, according to the latest reports.
The quakes started around 4 am local time, destroying thousands of buildings in the region around the epicenter near the Southeastern Turkish town of Nurdagi. Many aftershocks rocked the two countries since the initial quake.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, February 7, quoting Turkey’s Natural Disaster Management Agency, that more than 24,400 emergency personnel from around the world were now on the ground.
Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said the total number of deaths in Turkey had passed 3,400, with some 21,000 people injured, according to AP News.
6,000 buildings confirmed to have collapsed in Turkey alone, according to Turkish officials.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Ministry of Health said that the number of victims in government-controlled areas has surpassed 812 dead and 1,450 wounded.
At the same time, the civil defense organization of the Syrian opposition known as the “White Helmets” has reported that 790 people were killed and 2,200 others were injured following the recent earthquakes in areas outside the control of the Syrian government.
It should be mentioned that another earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 shook parts of Turkey for the third time this morning. There is still no information provided about the total damages and casualties of this earthquake.