640 DIE As Earthquake ROCKS Turkey, Syria Overnight
More than 640 people have been killed and thousands more injured in a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria overnight, flattening entire neighbourhoods while many families were still asleep.
Tremors from the deadly quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus, while a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy along the country’s coast.
Residents fled from their homes in terror in cities across southeast Turkey and northern Syria, taking shelter in cars from a wave of at least 40 aftershocks and collapsing buildings.
Concerns grew for people trapped under the rubble as thousands of rescue workers jumped into action, searching through destroyed buildings for survivors.
One video from Azaz, Syria showed a rescuer running with an injured child in his arms, while another showed the total collapse of a building in Sanlıurfa, Turkey
The quake was centred north of Gaziantep, Turkey, which is about 60 miles from the Syrian border and has a population of bout 2 million. The region is home to large numbers of Syrian refugees.
It struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 11 miles, the US Geological Survey said. A strong 6.7 aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later. Turkey’s own agency said 40 aftershocks were felt.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency said the earthquake killed scores of people in seven Turkish provinces. The agency said 440 people were injured, before Turkey’s Vice President confirmed that the death toll had risen to 284 and said that 2,323 people had been injured.
Meanwhile, at least 237 have been killed and around 639 injured in Syria, with the victims mostly in Aleppo, Latakia, Tartus and Hama, Syrian officials said.
At least 120 people were said to have been killed in rebel-held areas in Syria, bringing the overall death toll from the massive quake to 641.
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May we not be unfortunate