A powerful earthquake and numerous large aftershocks rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria throughout the day on Monday, Feb. 6. Videos showed the devastating scenes where thousands have been killed or injured.
The initial 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Nurdağı, Turkey, in the middle of the night on Feb. 6, according to the United States Geological Survey. A series of aftershocks — including a massive quake with a 7.5 magnitude — rocked the Gaziantep region for hours.
The earthquakes flattened buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Videos shared on Facebook by India Today and RTE News showed multi-story buildings crumbling in seconds, filling the streets with dust and rubble.
Thousands of people have been killed or injured from the earthquakes, but the exact death toll remains unclear. CNN reported that “more than 1,500 people” were killed across both countries. The Associated Press reported that the earthquakes have killed “more than 2,300 people.” Rescue teams are searching to find survivors amid the rubble.
Cold winter weather in the region is complicating rescue efforts and further endangering trapped survivors, CNN reported. The weather could reduce the time rescuers have to find and save people trapped under the rubble.
The earthquakes were felt as far as Cairo, Egypt, and Beirut, Lebanon, The Associated Press reported.
A survivor in Atareb, Syria, told Reuters the earthquakes felt “like the apocalypse.”
Rescue and relief operations are underway in Turkey and Syria, The Associated Press reported.
A map from the U.S. Geological Survey shows where the earthquakes hit. Nurdağı is a city in the Turkish province of Gaziantep and about 610 miles southeast of Istanbul. The Gaziantep region is along the Turkey-Syria border.