A mega earthquake in Turkey could reportedly has left up to 10,000 persons dead, according to Dailymail.
The two catastrophic earthquakes devastated parts of Turkey and Syria on Monday, it was learnt.
With temperatures set to fall to near freezing overnight, rescuers are in a desperate race against time to reach scores of survivors who remain trapped under collapsed buildings who are at risk of freezing to death before help arrives.
Their conditions – and those of people left homeless by the 7.8 and 7.5-magnitude earthquakes – are set to worsen soon. Rain was falling on Monday and snowstorms that swept the country over the weekend are expected to last until Thursday.
The death toll in the unfolding humanitarian crisis has already passed 2,300 and is expected to rise ‘significantly’ as the disaster unfolds. The United States Geological Survey warned that fatalities from the quakes could reach as high as 10,000.
Victims still trapped in the wrecks of their destroyed homes pleaded for help over Facebook Live, while a journalist student in the Turkish city of Adana said he heard a survivor calling out from beneath the rubble: ‘I don’t have the strength anymore.’
Meanwhile, heartbreaking videos and pictures from dozens of cities across the two countries have shown weeping parents carrying the lifeless bodies of their children in their arms, miraculous rescues executed by emergency responders, buildings slamming to the ground in seconds, and entire neighbourhoods reduced to rubble.
The initial 7.8-magnitude night-time tremor, followed hours later by a slightly smaller one, wiped out entire sections of major Turkish cities in a region filled with millions of people who have fled the civil war in Syria and other conflicts.
The later 7.5-magnitude quake struck at 1.24pm (1024 GMT) two-and-a-half miles southeast of the town of Ekinozu and around 60 miles north of the first quake that has wrought devastation across Turkey and Syria.
Monday morning’s quake jolted residents awake. They fled from their homes in terror out into the cold, rainy and snowy night across southeast Turkey and northern Syria, taking shelter in cars as thousands of buildings collapsed.
As Monday rolled on, concerns grew for people trapped under the rubble as thousands of rescue workers across a 200-mile radius jumped into action, searching through tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete for survivors who could be heard calling out from underneath the wreckage.
Terrifying videos and pictures from across the region showed the destruction caused by the quake. One clip from the border town of Azaz, Syria, showed a rescuer desperately running through a field of debris with an injured child in his arms, while another showed the total collapse of a building in Sanliurfa, Turkey.
Monday’s first quake was centred north of Gaziantep, Turkey, which is about 60 miles from the Syrian border, has a population of bout 2 million, and 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, causing more havoc. Turkey’s own agency said 40 aftershocks were felt.
Buildings were reported to have collapsed as far south as Syria’s cities of Aleppo and Hama to Turkey’s Diyarbakir – more than 200 miles north-east.
Tremors from the quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Greenland, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said. People also reported feeling tremors in Egypt, Lebanon and also Cyprus, while a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy.
Orhan Tatar, an official from the Turkish disaster agency, told reporters that the two quakes were independent of each other. It was not immediately clear how much damage had been done by the second quake, which like the first was felt across the region and endangered rescuers struggling to pull casualties from the rubble.
After a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck Buffalo, New York in the United States, meteorologist Tyler Metcalf sugested on Twitter that the Turkey earthquake could have ‘destabilised faults across the world.’
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency said there had been 1,498 fatalities as a result of the quake, with a further 7,600 injured, across ten Turksih provinces. The president earlier described it as the country’s largest disaster since 1939 (when 33,000 people were killed in the Erzincan earthquake).
‘Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts, although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night make things more difficult,’ he told reporters from Turkey’s disaster coordination centre in Ankara.
‘We do not know how high the casualty numbers will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake zone,’ he said.
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