Istanbul February 6 2023: Powerful earthquakes have sent multistorey buildings crumbling to the ground in parts of Turkey and Syria, killing more than 2,300 people as rescue operations continue.
The death toll in Turkey has risen to 1,498, the head of the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said.
Orhan Tatar said all the areas impacted by the quake have been reached by teams, adding that reinforcements continue.
At least 8,533 have been injured in the earthquake, Tatar said, adding that 2,834 building have been destroyed in southeastern Turkey.
The death toll from the earthquake in Syria has risen to at least 783 people, the government and rescue workers in opposition-held areas say.
The Syrian Ministry of Health said casualties rose to 403 dead and 1,284 injured in the government-controlled provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus.
The White Helmets rescue group, which operates in rebel-held areas, reported more than 380 people have been killed and over 1,000 injured.
Two major fault lines along the Anatolian Plate have generated a number of big quakes.
The initial magnitude 7.8 tremor on Monday morning, which was followed by a magnitude 7.6 quake hours later, had the same magnitude as one that killed about 30,000 people in 1939 in northeastern Turkey. A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the western city of Izmit in 1999 when more than 17,000 people died.
Experts say several factors have compounded the seismic event.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) says its emergency teams are ready to be deployed to Turkey and Syria.