Home International News Asia and Australia More Than 500 Dead After 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Turkey, Syria
Asia and Australia - Editor's Picks - February 6, 2023

More Than 500 Dead After 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Turkey, Syria

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake with an epicentre in southeastern Turkey near the border of northern Syria has killed hundreds of people and caused widespread destruction.

The quake killed at least 641 people across both countries, toppling buildings and sending rescuers scrambling through the rubble to find survivors.

The death toll was expected to rise, with experts warning that aftershocks could continue for days or weeks. Tremors were also felt in Cyprus, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.

The Syrian Civil Defence has declared a State of Emergency as they appeal for “the international community to support the rescue of civilians in Syria”.

The earthquake occurred at 4:17am (01:17 GMT), with its epicentre in Kahramanmaras in Gaziantep province, about 33km (20 miles) from the capital city of Gaziantep, which is home to more than two million people.

The quake was about 50km (31 miles) from the border of northwest Syria, where about 1.7 million internally displaced Syrians live in a cluster of camps in areas controlled by opposition groups still fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Several large government-controlled cities, including Aleppo, with a dense population of nearly 2 million, are located in the area.

More than 40 aftershocks were felt in the wake of the initial quake, including one with a magnitude of 6.7.

The aftershocks stretched “a distance of about 100km to 200km (62 to 124 miles) all along a big fault line,” Chris Elders, professor at the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, told Al Jazeera, referring to the East Anatolian Fault, which stretches across the southeastern portion of Turkey.

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