14.1 C
New York
March 24, 2023

Turkey and Syria earthquake live updates: 7.8-magnitude quake kills hundreds

Death toll rises to more than 2,200

The death toll following Monday’s earthquakes has risen to at least 2, 249, according to officials, who warned the numbers are expected to continue to rise.

In Turkey, at least 1,498 people are dead, with at least 8,533 injured, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.

In Syria, at least 371 people have died, with another 1,089 injured in affected areas.

At least 380 people have died and 1,000 injured in Syria’s rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.

Photo: A Syrian father weeps over the body of his infant son

A Syrian man weeps as he carries the body of his son who was killed in an earthquake in the town of Jandaris, in the rebel-held part of Aleppo province, on Monday.

Bakr Alkasem / AFP – Getty Images

Turkish lira sinks to record low

The Turkish lira hit a record low following the earthquakes, Reuters reported.

The lira fell to 18.85 in early trade before retracing most of its losses, the news agency said.

Borsa Istanbul, the country’s exchange entity, announced early Monday a temporary pause to transactions in shares of companies located in the earthquake zone, Reuters reported.

The country has already been dealing with soaring inflation for years.

Death toll in earthquakes rises past 1,870

The death toll from Monday’s earthquakes has risen to at least 1,872 people dead, according to officials.

In Turkey, at least 1,121 people were dead and 7,634 injured, according to the Disaster Emergency Management Authority. At least 2,824 buildings had also collapsed, with more than 9,600 search and rescue personnel deployed, it said.

In Syria, at least 371 people had died, with at least 1,089 injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry.

Photo: Flattened buildings in northwestern Syria

Residents searching for victims and survivors amid the rubble of collapsed buildings following an earthquake in the village of Besnia in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province on Monday.

Omar Haj Kadour / AFP – Getty Images

Earthquake hits northwestern Syria during harsh winter

Aina J. Khan and Charlene Gubash

In Syria, the earthquake has affected a region already hit hard by war and winter.

Millions have been displaced as the nation has been ravaged by nearly 12 years of civil war, placing health facilities under severe strain.

The country’s northwest is divided between government-held territory, and the last opposition-held enclave centered in Idlib province, raising concerns that international rescue efforts could be slowed and that an already dire humanitarian situation could be exacerbated.

The Syrian American Medical Society told NBC News four of their hospitals had been damaged and evacuated. “The conditions in our hospitals are catastrophic,” the aid group said.

In winter, Idlib — which has been under siege for years and bombarded with frequent Russian and government airstrikes — is battered by floods, torrential rains and strong winds that often destroy tents and food supplies, leaving many homeless, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

In the emergency ward of Bab al-Hawa hospital in the rebel-held northern countryside of Idlib province, emergency workers in scrubs were surrounded by casualties lying on the bare floor, some on stretchers still covered with the blankets they slept in as their building came crashing down on them.

Biden: U.S. will ‘provide any and all needed assistance’

President Joe Biden joined a slate of international leaders who offered support to Turkey and Syria in the wake of Monday’s devastation.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria,” Biden tweeted. “I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye and provide any and all needed assistance.”

Thousands facing extreme cold, displacement, International Rescue Committee says

Thousands of people in Turkey and Syria are now facing extreme cold and displacement, warned the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization.

“This earthquake is yet another devastating blow to so many vulnerable populations already struggling after years of conflict,” said the organization’s Syria director, Tanya Evans, calling it “a crisis within multiple crises.”

In Syria, the country’s long-decimated and overburdened health care system will be faced with treating potentially thousands of injured people, Evans added. The northwest region recently dealt with a cholera outbreak, further burdening its health care system.

Volunteer rescuer calls for help for Syrian ‘disaster area’

A member of the famed White Helmets volunteer force called for the world to help rebel-held areas in Syria on Monday after a massive earthquake hit the region.

“We need help,” Ismail Alabdullah said in the video posted to the White Helmet’s Twitter account, his voice trembling.

Alabdullah has frequently spoken for the White Helmets — the opposition emergency organization. Standing in front of a water-logged road in front of buildings reduced to piles of brown rubble, he said volunteers were trying to save as many lives as they could, but many families were still trapped under the rubble.

“We need the international community to do something, to help us, to support us. Northwestern Syria is now a disaster area. We need help from everyone to save our people,” he added.

Photo: Victims pulled from the rubble in Syria

Rescue workers carry an earthquake victim as they search through the wreckage of collapsed buildings in Hama, Syria.

Omar Sanadik / AP

Photos: Rescue efforts in the Turkish city of Kahta

High school teacher Ismet Yilmaz was staying in a student dormitory in the southern Turkish city of Kahta when the earthquake struck, forcing him, his family and his students rushing outside into the freezing cold.

“We woke up the students and went outside,” Yilmaz, 44, told NBC News from a car he and his wife and three daughters were sheltering in.

“I’m in the car right now and the car keeps rocking,” the Turkish language and literature teacher said in a message on Instagram.

İsmet Yılmaz

Search teams were sifting through the rubble on Monday morning after many buildings were destroyed when suddenly his car shook from a second large quake, he said.

Ismet Yilmaz

Zelenskyy says Ukraine ready to provide assistance

Julianne McShane and Daryna Mayer

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his country’s support to Turkey following Monday’s devastating earthquake.

“I express my sincere condolences to the President @RTErdogan, to the people and families of the victims of the earthquake in the southeast,” Zelenskyy said in a tweet early Monday. “I wish a speedy recovery to all the victims. In this difficult time, we will be close to the (Turkish) people.”

“Ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster,” he said.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, reiterated Zelenskyy’s support, writing: “Ukraine stands ready to send a large group of rescue workers to Türkiye to assist crisis response.”

“We are working closely with the Turkish side to coordinate their deployment,” he said.

TV reporter runs as second quake hits live on air

Video has been shared on Turkish TV showing a news team reporting on the huge early morning earthquake being forced to flee as a second temblor strikes.

At 1:25 p.m. (5:25 a.m. ET) the reporter is shown standing in a built-up street in the eastern city of Malatya, which was already covered in debris and dust, as a small crowd of people surveys the damage.

Soon sirens begin to sound, shouts are heard and then a crashing roar reverberates as the crowd and reporting team run for safety. A cloud of dust rises around them.

It’s unclear whether the apparent building collapse was caused by the second earthquake reported Monday at around the same time. The broadcaster, A Haber, said damaged buildings fell down as an aftershock hit.

Massive new quake rocks Turkey and Syria as death toll rises to more than 1,300

A massive new earthquake hit southern Turkey on Monday, hours after a 7.8-magnitude quake killed more than 1,300 people in the country and neighboring Syria, with scores more trapped in the rubble.

Residents joined rescuers to search for survivors in freezing conditions, with the death toll expected to increase as the level of destruction became clear from the initial powerful pre-dawn temblor.

A 7.5-magnitude temblor then hit about 100 miles north of Gaziantep at a depth of 6 miles or so at 1:24 p.m. local time (5:24 a.m. ET), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Read the full story here.

Photos: Rush to rescue survivors after buildings collapse in Syrian city of Aleppo

Locals watch as rescue teams search for survivors beneath the rubble of a collapsed building after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the regime-controlled northern Syrian city of Aleppo early on Monday.

AFP – Getty Images
AFP – Getty Images

World leaders offer condolences and support after quake

Prime ministers and presidents across the world have been quick to offer support and solidarity to Turkey and Syria as both nations reel from Monday’s earthquake. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 45 countries had offered to help with search and rescue operations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet he was “anguished” by the loss of life and immediately offered assistance.

Similar offers of condolence and assistance were made by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Support was also offered to Turkey and Syria by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a message on the Kremlin’s website.

Photos: Children treated for injuries in rebel-held Syria

Omar Haj Kadour / AFP – Getty Images

Children injured in a morning earthquake receive treatment at al-Rahma hospital in the Syrian town of Darkush on the outskirts of the rebel-held province of Idlib on Monday.

Omar Haj Kadour / AFP – Getty Images

New massive quake hits Turkey and Syria

A second massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake has hit southeastern Turkey, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said.

Quake kills 912 and injures more than 5,000 in Turkey, Erdogan says

At least 912 people were killed and 5,383 injured in Turkey in Monday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan said it was the country’s largest disaster since 1939, adding that 2,818 buildings had collapsed in the earthquake and aftershocks. 

“Nine thousand personnel are currently carrying out search and rescue operations, and this number is constantly increasing with those who reach the region from outside,” he added. “We do not know how far the number of dead and injured will rise, as debris removal works continue in many buildings in the earthquake zone.”

The number of people rescued was 2,818, he added, speaking on state television.

Photos: Desperate efforts to find survivors in southern Turkey

Ilyas Akengin / AFP – Getty Images

Local men help rescue workers as they try to move a large piece of debris after a building collapsed in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on Monday, trapping residents underneath the rubble. A man weeps during the search for survivors in Diyarbakir after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck.

Ilyas Akengin / AFP – Getty Images

WHO concerned about some areas of Turkey after earthquake — official

GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it was concerned about areas in Turkey from which there had been no news following a deadly earthquake overnight.

“National authorities will be focussing on search and rescue at the moment,” a WHO spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. “Then we will expect an increased need for trauma care to treat the injured and to support the entire health system in affected areas.”

Historic castle dating back to the Roman empire partially destroyed

The castle at Gaziantep before it suffered major damage in Monday’s earthquake.Dimitar Chobanov / Alamy Stock Photo

An imposing castle in the city of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, which sits on a site that can be traced back to the ancient Hittite empire, has been left in ruins by Monday’s devastating earthquake.

The castle was developed and expanded by the Romans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The Byzantine empire in the 6th century added the 12 towers surrounding the inner keep.

Damage to Gaziantep Castle after Monday’s earthquake.Mehmet Akif Parlak / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A popular tourist spot, the remarkably well-preserved castle also housed the Gaziantep Defense and Heroism Panoramic Museum, which told the story of the site’s central role in the Turkish war of independence following the World War I.

The most recently renovation began in 2020, when a series of ancient underground tunnels was discovered.

NATO allies ‘mobilizing support now,’ secretary general says

Photos: Historic Gaziantep Castle badly damaged in quake

The historic Gaziantep Castle appears badly damaged after a huge earthquake struck the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep.

Mehmet Akif Parlak / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A similar view shows the castle in November 2021.

Dimitar Chobanov / Alamy Stock Photo

Turkey’s Iskenderun port damaged from quake

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s maritime authority said on Monday that the Iskenderun port located in the southern Turkish province of Hatay is damaged due to the major earthquake.

Following its damage inspections, the authority said on Twitter that operations continue in ports besides Iskenderun. 

Photos: Syrian first responders rush to help in northern Idlib

Aaref Watad / AFP – Getty Images

Victims are rushed to the emergency ward of the Bab al-Hawa hospital in the rebel-held northern countryside of Syria’s Idlib province on the border with Turkey. Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, transport an injured person pulled from the rubble in Shalakh village in Idlib’s early on Monday.

Muhammad Haj Kadour / AFP – Getty Images

France’s Emmanuel Macron offers help to quake-struck region

“Terrible images come to us from Turkey and Syria after an earthquake of unprecedented force,” France’s president wrote on Twitter. “France stands ready to provide emergency aid to the populations on the spot. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families.” 

Photo: Dramatic rescue of infant in Syria’s Idlib province

A member of the Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer force also known as the White Helmets, carries a child rescued from the rubble in the town of Zardana in the northwestern Idlib province early on Monday.

Abdulaziz Ketaz / AFP – Getty Images

Death toll rises to more than 660

Max Burman

At least 668 people have been killed in the quake, according to the latest figures.

At a news conference, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed at least 284 had been killed in the country.

At least 237 more were killed in government-controlled areas of Syria, according to the country’s health ministry. At least 147 people were killed in rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.

That takes the combined death toll across the two borders to at least 668, with fears it may still rise substantially with scores injured and rescue workers and residents sifting through the rubble.

Map shows where the earthquake hit


Hundreds dead after massive earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria

Dennis Romero and Aina J. Khan

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake left more than 600 people dead and many trapped as it toppled buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday.

Read the full story here.

Rescue teams try to reach trapped residents in Adana, Turkey

Rescue teams try to reach trapped residents inside collapsed buildings in Adana, southern Turkey, after a powerful earthquake knocked down multiple buildings.AP

Read More