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powerful earthquake in Turkey and northwestern Syria

powerful earthquake in Turkey and northwestern Syria

A powerful earthquake hit cities in Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday, destroying thousands of apartment buildings and adding to the suffering of millions displaced by years of war in Syria. More than 3000 people died as a result.

In severe weather, the ground shook before sunrise, and a powerful aftershock occurred in the early afternoon. The plight of thousands of people injured or displaced was made worse by the bitter winter weather, which also complicated efforts to find survivors.

According to the US Geological Survey, the first earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, which has a population of about 2 million, at 4:17 a.m. local time. It occurred at a depth of about 18 km. This was followed by several aftershocks, one with a magnitude of 7.5 that shook the area during the rescue operation.

According to the Geological Institute of Denmark, it took about eight minutes for the tremors to be felt on the east coast of Greenland. The earthquake was the largest recorded globally by the US Geological Survey since the August 2021 earthquake in the remote South Atlantic.

At least 1,762 deaths were reported by Turkish emergency services, bringing the total death toll to 3,055, with at least 1,293 in neighboring Syria. More than 12,000 people were injured, according to Turkish Health Minister Farahtin Koca. According to Syrian authorities, 3,411 people were injured.