| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

Death toll in Turkey-Syria earthquake soars to 4,300, more casualties feared

With the expectation of an increase in the figures, at least 4,300 people have been killed and thousands of buildings reduced to rubble after a devastating earthquake of 7.8-magnitude struck Turkey and Syria, even as rescuers try to look for survivors.

According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), at least 2,921 people were confirmed dead, while the Syrian government reported 1,444 casualties. Thousands more were injured, with the death toll expected to rise.

United Nations has predicted that the death toll could increase to more than 20,000 from one of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the region in at least a century, reports Guardian.

Several nations have pledged aid after the 7.8-magnitude quake, which hit as people were still sleeping and amid freezing weather that has hampered emergency efforts.

Thousands of multi-storey apartment buildings turned to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses, as well as damage to archaeological sites in Aleppo.

In Turkey alone, more than 5,600 buildings were destroyed, authorities said. Hospitals were damaged, and one collapsed in the city of Iskenderun, according to AP news agency.

Planes carrying aid shipments from Iraq and Iran arrived at Damascus International Airport, Syrian state media SANA reported.

Turkey, Syria earthquakes: Over 2000 dead, 3000 buildings collpase, neighbourhoods vanish
On Monday, the Iranian aid arrived, while the Iraqi aid was delivered early Tuesday morning (local time), SANA reported.

According to an official at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mahdi Ghanem, each plane carried about 70 tons of food, medical supplies, blankets and necessary supplies.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad he would dispatch humanitarian aid to the area, Iranian state media IRNA reported.
More than 7,800 people were rescued across 10 provinces, according to Orhan Tatar, an official with Turkey’s disaster management authority.
On Monday, the US Geological Survey recorded the quake at 7.8, with a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles). Hours later, another 7.5 magnitude temor, likely triggered by the first, struck more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.

Turkey— world’s most active earthquake zones
Turkey is considered one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. The region sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes.

The last time the country recorded massive 7.8-magnitude tremor was in 1939, when 33,000 died in the eastern Erzincan province.

The Turkish region of Duzce suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999, when more than 17,000 people died.

Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate Istanbul, a megalopolis of 16 million people filled with rickety homes.

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