Two massive earthquakes are reported to have killed more than 3500 people and wounded many thousands more in Turkey and Syria – with experts warning the death toll was likely to rise sharply as snowy, freezing conditions hamper rescue efforts.
The magnitude 7.8 tremor struck overnight near the city of Gaziantep, and was felt nearly 1,000km away in Cairo, leaving a huge trail of destruction in Turkey and Syria, where many remained trapped below rubble as a second 7.5 magnitude earthquake then hit just hours later.
Authorities said 2316 people had died in Turkey, with more than 11,000 injured. At least 1,293 people were killed in Syria, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the northwestern region controlled by insurgents.
Natural hazards expert Dr Steven Godby warned that the impacts of the Syrian civil war and winter snow could make rescue efforts more difficult, saying: “Unfortunately the death toll is likely to climb quickly.
“The first 24-48 hours is when most people are normally rescued in this situations, but the cold weather may reduce that time.”
Strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits Turkey on Monday morning
Second powerful earthquake rocks Turkey after morning devastation
Situation in Syria 'disastrous' with many trapped in rubble, officials say
At least 2,600 killed and thousands more injured, reports say
Death toll likely to climb quickly, warns expert
Hundreds of families still under rubble in freezing temperatures, Syrian opposition rescuers say
09:38 , Liam James
Time is running out to save hundreds of families still trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings after yesterday’s devastating earthquake, the head of the Syrian opposition-run civil defence service has said.
Attempts to reach survivors were also impeded by temperatures below freezing and close to 200 aftershocks, which made the search through unstable structures perilous.
Raed al-Saleh told Reuters urgent help was needed from international groups for the rescue effort by the organisation known as the White Helmets in rebel-held northwest Syria, where hundreds were killed and injured.
“Every second means saving lives and we call on all humanitarian organisations to give material aid and respond to this catastrophe urgently,” he said.
Christian Atsu ‘successfully rescued’ from Turkey earthquake rubble
10:30 , Liam James
The Ghana Football Association confirmed the news and said the 31-year-old is receiving treatment.
Screams ring out from rubble left by earthquake
10:06 , Liam James
Desperate screams for help could be heard from those trapped in collapsed buildings in Turkey.
“They’re making noises but nobody is coming,” Deniz cried out, holding his hands to his head as he railed against the lack of efforts to rescue people in the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay.
“They’re calling out. They’re saying, ‘Save us,’ but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them? There has been nobody since the morning,” Deniz said.
Rescue workers have struggled to cope with the scale of destruction across southern Turkey and northwest Syria, with the total death toll rising above 5,000 on Tuesday morning.
Rescue specialists due to leave UK for Turkey ‘imminently’
09:45 , Stuti Mishra
A team of British search-and-rescue specialists heading to Turkey will leave the UK “imminently”, a government minister has said.
Development minister Andrew Mitchell confirmed today morning that the British package of support – which includes a team of 76 search-and-rescue specialists, complete with state-of-the-art equipment and four specially trained dogs – would be leaving in the next couple of hours.
Aid worker dies in Syria after house collapse
09:20 , Stuti Mishra
The medical aid organisation Doctors Without Borders confirmed today that one of its staff members was among the dead after his house in Syria’s Idlib province collapsed, and that others had lost family members.
“We are very shocked and saddened by the impact of this disaster on the thousands of people touched by it, including our colleagues and their families,” said Sebastien Gay, the group’s head of mission in Syria.
Mr Gay said health facilities in northern Syria were overwhelmed with medical personnel working around “around the clock to respond to the huge numbers of wounded”.
WHO chief worried about silent areas of Turkey, Syria after quake
09:10 , Stuti Mishra
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said today it was especially concerned about areas of Turkey and Syria from which no information had emerged following a major earthquake that killed thousands.
“We’re especially concerned about areas where we do not yet have information,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the WHO’s executive board meeting in Geneva.
“Damage mapping is one way to understand where we need to focus our attention.”
Death toll surpasses 5,000 as Turkey declares 3,419 dead
08:56 , Stuti Mishra
Turkish authorities have updated the death figures to 3,419 at noon local time, bringing the total number of casualties in two countries to over 5,000 now.
Earlier Syria reported at least 1,600 deaths from figures provided by government and opposition-held areas.
Syria's death toll crosses 1,600
08:45 , Stuti Mishra
At least 1,602 people were killed and thousands injured in Syria following a number of deadly earthquakes and aftershocks in neighbouring Turkey, authorities and rescuers said.
State news agency SANA said at least 812 people were killed and 1,449 people injured in the government-held provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartous.
While at least 790 people were killed in Syria’s opposition-held northwest and 2,200 injured with the toll expected to “rise dramatically,” the White Helmets rescue team said.
Turkey's İskenderun port fire continues to rage
08:40 , Stuti Mishra
Firefighters have not yet been able to douse a fire that broke out among shipping containers at Turkey’s Ä°skenderun port after they were toppled by the earthquake.
Thick, black smoke rose from one part of the port today, the Associated Press is reporting, as a navy ship docked in another area where a hospital collapsed, to transport survivors in need of medical care to the nearby city of Mersin.
Death toll rises to 812 in Syrian government-held areas
08:20 , Stuti Mishra
At least 812 people were killed in government-held areas in Syria following two deadly earthquakes and a series of aftershocks in neighbouring Turkey, state news agency SANA has said.
SANA said at least 1,449 people were injured in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartous.
The revised figures bring the death toll in Syria to at least 1500 as opposition-controlled areas continue to run separate rescue operations with total tally in two countries nearing 5,000.
Engineers, search dogs, paramedics reach Turkey and Syria: Here’s a list of which countries have sent help so far
08:11 , Stuti Mishra
Here’s a glance at the assistance that’s being provided:
Another powerful aftershock strikes Turkey
07:54 , Stuti Mishra
A second powerful aftershock is being reported in the eastern region of Turkey today.
The magnitude of the quake was recorded as 5.7, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).
This comes after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded at a depth of 2km in the morning.
Hundreds of families still under rubble, Syrian opposition rescuers say
07:14 , Stuti Mishra
Time is running out to save hundreds of families still trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings after yesterday's devastating earthquake, the head of the Syrian opposition-run civil defence service has said.
Raed al-Saleh told Reuters urgent help was needed from international groups for the rescue effort by the organisation known as the White Helmets in rebel-held northwest Syria, where hundreds were killed and injured.
"Every second means saving lives and we call on all humanitarian organisations to give material aid and respond to this catastrophe urgently," he said.
The magnitude 7.8 quake hit Turkey and neighbouring Syria early on Monday, toppling entire apartment blocks, wrecking hospitals, and leaving thousands of people injured or homeless.
At least 1,444 people were killed in Syria and about 3,500 injured, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the northwestern region controlled by insurgents.
Rescue teams worked early on Tuesday to free people trapped in the rubble of buildings in southern Turkey as the death toll in that country rose to 3,381.
Time is running out. Hundreds still trapped under the rubble. Every second could mean saving a life. We appeal to all humanitarian organizations and international bodies to provide material support and assistance to organizations responding to this disaster.#earthquake #Syria pic.twitter.com/UlYkz0gSBz
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 7, 2023
Turkey death toll rises to 3,381, bringing total to 4,800
06:54 , Stuti Mishra
Turkey has further revised the death toll to 3,381, the country’s disaster management authority has said.
This brings the total deaths in Turkey and Syria to over 4,800 with at least 1,444 confirmed killed in Syria.
Why is Turkey vulnerable to earthquakes?
06:30 , Stuti Mishra
Turkey is situated in a seismically active area known as the East Anatolian fault zone, which has produced damaging earthquakes in the past, making it highly vulnerable.
Researchers said Monday's devastating earthquake was a strike-slip quake, where two tectonic plates slide past each other horizontally.
The Earth is divided up into different pieces, “kind of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Eric Sandvol, a seismologist at the University of Missouri.
Those pieces meet at fault lines, where the plates slowly grind against each other.
But once enough tension builds up, they can snap past each other quickly, releasing a large amount of energy.
"Almost all of Turkey is really seismically active," Mr Sandvol said. "This is not something new to the country."
Syria earthquake: Child pulled from rubble of collapsed building
06:10 , Stuti Mishra
Live: View from Hatay after third quake hits Turkey
05:55 , Stuti Mishra
South Korea to dispatch a 60-person search and rescue team
05:40 , Stuti Mishra
South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol has said a 60-person search and rescue team would be sent to Turkey from Seoul in order to help with the rescue operation.
He described Turkey as a “brother nation” that sent troops to fight alongside South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. Turkey lost more than 700 of its forces in action.
New Zealand's aid for Turkey and Syria following earthquake
05:30 , Stuti Mishra
New Zealand is providing $632,000 to the Turkish Red Crescent and $316,000 to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver items such as food, tents and blankets, as well as provide medical assistance and psychological support.
India sends first batch of aid to Turkey
05:23 , Stuti Mishra
India has sent its first batch of aid for Turkey, including search and rescue personnel, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other equipment.
The aid left from India left for Turkey early morning, India's foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.
This was after India yesterday promised to send supplies to the country.
India's Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilites in action.
The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Türkiye, along with NDRF Search & Rescue Teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines & other necessary equipment. pic.twitter.com/pB3ewcH1Gr
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) February 6, 2023
China to give Turkey $6m in emergency aid for earthquake relief
05:10 , Stuti Mishra
China will give a first tranche of 40 million yuan ($5.9m) in emergency aid to help Turkey’s relief efforts after this week’s major earthquake, state broadcaster CCTV has said.
China’s Red Cross will give emergency aid of $200,000 each to Turkey and Syria, it added
Thousands spend night outside in Turkey and Syria amid aftershocks and harsh winter
05:00 , Stuti Mishra
Rescuers in Turkey and war-ravaged Syria continued their search overnight, hoping to pull more survivors from the rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 4,000 people and toppled thousands of buildings across a wide region.
Authorities feared the death toll from Monday’s pre-dawn earthquake and aftershocks would keep climbing as rescuers looked for survivors among tangles of metal and concrete spread across the region beset by Syria’s 12-year civil war and refugee crisis.
Photos and videos show distressing images of survivors crying out for help from within mountains of debris as first responders contended with rain and snow.
Seismic activity continued to rattle the region, including another jolt nearly as powerful as the initial quake yesterday and a 5.6 magnitude quake this morning.
Tens of thousands who were left homeless in Turkey and Syria faced a night in the cold. In the Turkish city of Gaziantep, a provincial capital about 33 kilometres from the epicentre, people took refuge in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques, and community centres.
Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared seven days of national mourning.
In pics: Rescuers continue to look for survivors overnight amid rain and snow
04:44 , Stuti Mishra
Death toll in southern Turkey rises
04:17 , Stuti Mishra
Officials in Turkey have updates the death toll from southern provinces to 2,912, Anadolu has reported quoting disaster management agency.
This takes the total confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria to over 4,000.
Third quake strikes Turkey
03:47 , Stuti Mishra
An earthquake of 5.6 magnitude struck central Turkey on Tuesday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.
The quake was at a depth of 2 km, EMSC said.
This was the third strong earthquake to strike Turkey after two quakes on Monday left widespread destruction and 4,000 dead.
UK sends rescue specialists to Turkey in aftermath of devastating earthquake
03:00 , Eleanor Noyce
A team of British search-and-rescue specialists is heading to Turkey to help the relief effort following the earthquake which has claimed thousands of lives.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said no Britons had been reported dead in the quake which has devastated parts of Turkey and Syria, but he acknowledged it was still too early to say whether that would remain the case as the full picture emerges.
The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks and more than 2,300 people were killed, although the authorities fear that the death toll will rise as the search for survivors continues.
Mr Cleverly said the impact of the quakes was “on a scale that we have not seen for quite some time”.
My colleague David Hughes reports:
Map of Turkey shows where massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck
02:00 , Eleanor Noyce
The high-magnitude tremor struck at 4.17am local time on Monday in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, according to the US Geological Survey.
The epicentre of the quake was near the city of Gaziantep at a depth of 17.9km, impacting around seven provinces in Turkey and a large area in northern Syria.
More than 1,650 people have been confirmed dead in Turkey alone, taking the total tally of deaths including Syria above 2,600.
Mr Erdogan tweeted in the morning that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.
Aerial footage captures earthquake damage in Syria’s Idlib
01:50 , Eleanor Noyce
Aerial footage shows the damage caused by an earthquake today, 6 February, in Idlib, Syria.
At least 2,300 people have died in both countries after two earthquakes over magnitude 7 hit Syria and Turkey on Monday, 6 February.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the high-magnitude tremor struck at 4.17am local time on Monday in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border.
A second earthquake measuring at least 7.5 magnitude was later felt in central Turkey.
Footballer Christian Atsu trapped ‘under rubble’ after Turkey earthquake, reports say
01:20 , Eleanor Noyce
Former Chelsea and Newcastle forward Christian Atsu is missing and believed to be trapped under rubble following the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday and left more than 2,500 people dead.
The Ghana international, who plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, is thought to be in a building that was destroyed, Hatayspor spokesman Mustafa Özat said, according to Turkish media.
Özat said club director Taner Savut was also believed to be in a building that collapsed and club officials couldn’t contact both men. They were likely trapped, Özat said.
At least two other Hatayspor players had to be pulled out of rubble but were now safe, Özat said. Atsu and Savut were the only two Hatayspor players or officials still unaccounted for, he added.
The 31-year-old Atsu joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year after a spell playing in Saudi Arabia.
My colleague Gerald Imray has more:
Syria earthquake: Child pulled from rubble of collapsed building
00:50 , Eleanor Noyce
Footage shows the moment a child was pulled from rubble after an earthquake in Syria today, 6 February.
At least 2,300 people have died after two earthquakes over magnitude 7 hit Syria and Turkey on Monday, 6 February.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), a high-magnitude tremor struck at 4.17am local time on Monday in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border.
A second earthquake measuring at least 7.5 magnitude was later felt in central Turkey.
Turkey earthquake: Are flights and holidays cancelled?
00:20 , Eleanor Noyce
The FCDO updated its advice to UK travellers at 3am on Monday, following the tragic incident in the early hours.
The initial 7.8 earthquake struck the southeastern city of Gaziantep at 4.17am local time. Turkey’s emergency authorities have since reported a second, 7.5 magnitude earthquake in a different southeast location at 1.24pm local time.
At the time of writing, the combined death toll of the incident in Syria and Turkey stands at more than 2,300.
Are holidays to Turkey in the coming weeks affected, and are airlines still operating flights?
My colleague Lucy Thackray has more:
Second earthquake came from a different fault, seismologist confirms
Monday 6 February 2023 23:50 , Eleanor Noyce
A second earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday has been labelled an “unusual” occurrence triggered by the first quake, a seismologist has said.
Remy Bossu, head of the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, observed that the second earthquake was on a different fault system entirely.
“Traditionally what we observe is we have a main shock, and then we have aftershocks which follow along the same rupture zone. They are lower in magnitude and they are close in space”, Mr Bossu told Sky News.
“Here, the second earthquake - the one of this morning, 7.6 [magnitude] approximately - is nearly as big as the first shock and it is on a second fault system. So if you look at the aftershocks… the first shock was along the East Anatolian Fault – and the second one is on a second fault.
“It is a totally different system. It is not an aftershock, it is a second [earthquake] which has been triggered by the first one.
“This is unusual, we call this a sequence of earthquakes.”
Hospitals struggling amidst electricity outages, NGO Director confirms
Monday 6 February 2023 23:20 , Eleanor Noyce
Dr. Mostafa Edo, a Country Director for the US-based NGO MedGlobal, told CNN that he has spent Monday distributing aid to hospitals across Syria’s northwest region.
“In the building where I live [in Idlib], my neighbour lives with his parents, both of whom have a disability. He couldn’t leave home during the earthquake because he had to stay by their side because they couldn’t leave home. They had to stay in place for hours that were absolutely horrific as the earthquake and aftershocks took place,” Edo said.
“One of my colleagues, who I’ve worked with for more than five years, was killed about two years ago in Russian airstrikes. I found out today that his whole family, his wife and kids, all passed away today when their building collapsed”, Mr Edo added.
Elsewhere, hospitals are experiencing electricity outages. Some, which were relying on electricity supplies from Turkey, will now need to depend on generators which require diesel. In Harem, Darkush, Kafr Takharim and Tal Mileh, paramedics have had difficulties providing aid due to the heavy machinery needed to help with rescue operations.
More than 75 aftershocks confirmed in Turkey, according to United States Geological Survey
Monday 6 February 2023 22:50 , Eleanor Noyce
The United States Geological Survey has confirmed at least 77 aftershocks measuring 4.0 or greater have taken place since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday morning.
Three of these aftershocks have totalled 6.0 or more, including a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck 59 miles north of the epicentre.
The aftershocks stretch for more than 185 miles along the fault zone.
EU activates crisis response mechanism in bid to coordinate quicker support for Turkey and Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 22:20 , Eleanor Noyce
The EU has activated its crisis response mechanism to coordinate emergency support measures to Turkey and Syria.
“The Swedish presidency has decided on 6 February 2023 to activate the integrated political crisis response (IPCR) to coordinate EU support measures in response to the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, in close collaboration with the European Commission,” the EU Council said in a statement.
The IPCR mechanism strengthens the EU’s ability to take rapid decisions on crisis responses, particularly when the event spans borders.
The presidency of the Council coordinates the political response to the crisis by bringing together EU institutions, member states and other key actors, the EU Council affirmed.
At least 5606 buildings have collapsed, Turkish agency confirms
Monday 6 February 2023 21:50 , Eleanor Noyce
At least 5606 buildings have collapsed during and after the earthquake, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency has confirmed.
According to AFAD, a total of 19,574 rescue personnel are working across the earthquake region on recovery efforts.
Turkish Airlines has announced that flights to Adana, Elazig, and Diyarbakir will continue for citizens who want to reach the affected zone.
AFAD confirmed that the airports in Malatya, Adana, DiyarbakÄ±r, and AdÄ±yaman are open to all flights. Elsewhere, Gaziantep and ÅanlÄ±urfa Airports are only open for aid flights while KahramanmaraÅ and Hatay airports are closed to flights due to the earthquake damage.
Pope Francis “deeply saddened” to learn of earthquake death toll
Monday 6 February 2023 21:18 , Eleanor Noyce
Pope Francis has offered his prayers for the victims and their loved ones.
In a Twitter post, he remarked that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the “huge loss of life” caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
“Entrusting those who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, I pray for the emergency personnel involved in the ongoing relief efforts”, he added.
I was deeply saddened to learn of the huge loss of life caused by the earthquake in #Türkiye and in #Syria. Entrusting those who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, I pray for the emergency personnel involved in the ongoing relief efforts.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 6, 2023
Overall death toll climbs to over 3400 as Turkey updates figures
Monday 6 February 2023 20:44 , Eleanor Noyce
The overall death toll has climbed to over 3400 following a devastating earthquake near the border with Syria.
Turkish authorities have now confirmed that over 2300 people have died, bringing the overall death toll in both countries to more than 3400.
Earthquakes death toll surpasses 3000, as Turkey confirms 2316 deaths
Monday 6 February 2023 20:36 , Eleanor Noyce
The death toll now stands at more than 3000 people, increasing rapidly since the first earthquake struck on Monday morning.
The total death toll in Turkey has risen to 2316, an official from Turkey’s Afad - the country’s disaster and emergency authority - has confirmed.
The figures come as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that these numbers are likely to increase by as much as eightfold.
Syrian toddler survives quake, but mother and siblings perish
Monday 6 February 2023 19:31 , Reuters
Syrian toddler Raghad Ismail was rushed to safety from the rubble of her home after it collapsed in a huge earthquake that has wreaked devastation in Syria and Turkey. But most of her family, including her mother, did not make it out alive.
Cradled in the arms of a rescue worker, she emerged unscathed from the ruins in the Syrian city of Azaz at daybreak on Monday. An uncle looking after her said her two siblings died along with her mother, who was pregnant.
Ismail, 18 months old, ate a piece of bread as she sat on cushions on the ground under a blanket later in the day, a heater helping shield her from the winter cold.
“The father is feared to have his back broken, his young daughter is fine. His pregnant wife, his five-year-old daughter and his four-year-old son have all been killed,Ã¢Â€ÂÂ the uncle who gave his name as Abu Hussam told Reuters.
Woman recalls being ‘shaken like a cradle’ next to wreckage of home
Monday 6 February 2023 19:04 , Andy Gregory
In the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, in southeast Turkey, a woman speaking next to the wreckage of the seven-storey block where she lived told Reuters: “We were shaken like a cradle. There were nine of us at home. Two sons of mine are still in the rubble, I’m waiting for them.”
She was nursing a broken arm and had injuries to her face.
The earthquake is the biggest recorded worldwide by the US Geological survey since a tremor in the remote South Atlantic in August 2021.
Cold weather making rescue more difficult, warns Erdogan
Monday 6 February 2023 18:33 , Andy Gregory
The cold weather is making the huge rescue operation more difficult, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.
“Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night makes things more difficult,” he said.
Temperatures in some areas were expected to fall to near freezing overnight, worsening conditions for people trapped under rubble or left homeless. Rain was falling on Monday after snowstorms swept the country at the weekend.
Earthquakes death toll surpasses 2,600
Monday 6 February 2023 17:56 , Andy Gregory
The death toll from the earthquakes now exceeds 2,600, according to authorities in Turkey and Syria.
In Turkey, the death toll stood at 1,651, health minister Fahrettin Koca said, with more than 11,000 people recorded as injured.
At least 968 people were killed in Syria, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the rebel-controlled northwest.
Team of British search and rescue specialists en route to Turkey
Monday 6 February 2023 17:25 , Andy Gregory
A team of British search and rescue specialists is heading to Turkey to help the relief effort, the foreign secretary has said.
The UK is sending a team of 76 specialists, complete with state-of-the-art equipment and four specially trained dogs, to Turkey, with a flight scheduled to leave Birmingham on Monday night.
They “should be on the ground shortly to give the Turkish authorities the help that they need to try to save as many lives as possible”, James Cleverly said.
No Britons had been reported dead in the earthquakes but it is still too early to say whether that will remain the case as the full picture emerges, the minister said.
“With an earthquake of this magnitude we sadly have already seen many thousands of people die,” Mr Cleverly said, adding that the impact was “on a scale that we have not seen for quite some time”.
Analysis | Earthquake brings fresh hell for Syrians after more than a decade of civil war
Monday 6 February 2023 16:57 , Andy Gregory
The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake has brought more carnage to parts of Syria already facing massive destruction and great suffering during a decade of brutal civil war, reports The Independent’s world affairs editor Kim Sengupta.
Shocking images have emerged of whole villages and hamlets flattened, with reports of dozens of families buried under the rubble, adding to a death toll of hundreds of bodies were being recovered from twisted piled of metal and concrete.
Some families in opposition-held have been living in homes half-destroyed during airstrikes and bombing by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Buildings which had been hastily erected in the years of conflict were the first to collapse as the earthquake and aftershocks tore through the the country and neighbouring Turkey.
You can read the full analysis here:
Moment child and parents pulled alive from rubble after Syria earthquake
Monday 6 February 2023 16:24 , Andy Gregory
Bel Trew | This is the morning ‘doomsday’ came to Turkey and Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 16:16 , Andy Gregory
Our international correspondent Bel Trew reports:
At 4.17am, Ismail Abdalla says “doomsday” came to his building in Idlib northwest Syria, violently tearing everyone awake.
The Syrian first responder grabbed his one-month-old baby. With just seconds to spare, he dived for cover as part of the roof caved in on top of his bed where they had been sleeping.
Next door was not so fortunate. The neighbouring apartment block collapsed, killing 15 members of an internally-displaced family who had already fled multiple frontlines. Around Abdalla – buildings in the opposition-held area that have been battered by more than a decade of civil war – crumbled one by one.
“It was like someone was shaking all the apartments, it was like doomsday. The roof was waving, it was seconds of terror,” says the 36-year-old father-of-three who volunteers with the Syria Civil Defence organisation, known colloquially as the White Helmets. He is now working to free the injured and dead.
“Entire families are trapped under the rubble, until now we are trying to save people. But the situation is bigger than the White Helmets. It is bigger than any non-governmental organisation, this needs a state-level response to handle it. “
“I’m talking about whole villages, whole areas of cities, destroyed.”
Aerial footage captures earthquake damage in Syria's Idlib
Monday 6 February 2023 15:51 , Andy Gregory
‘It is a catastrophe’: Earthquake leaves trail of destruction across Turkey and Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 15:31 , Andy Gregory
“It is a catastrophe,” Abdel Kafe al Hamdou, a Syrian activist and scholar in northern Syria, told The Independent, describing scenes in the vicinity of Atareb.
“Dozens of people are still under the rubble. Dozens of people are dead. Unfortunately, everything happened at once in an area that didn’t have any equipment. People are working with their bare hands trying to save their relatives. People are really paralysed, and don’t know what to do.”
Our international correspondent Borzou Daragahi has more in this report:
Where exactly did the earthquakes strike?
Monday 6 February 2023 15:14 , Andy Gregory
At least 2,300 killed and thousands more injured
Monday 6 February 2023 15:04 , Andy Gregory
At least 2,300 people are said to have been killed and many more thousands injured, according to the Associated Press.
Nearly 1,500 people were killed in 10 Turkish provinces, with some 8,500 injured, the country's disaster management agency said.
The Syrian health ministry said more than 430 people had died in government-held areas, with some 1,280 injured. In Syria’s rebel-held northwest, groups that operate there said the death toll was at least 380, with many hundreds more injured.
Video: Chandelier swings as powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 14:30 , Stuti Mishra
A timeline of world’s strongest earthquakes over the last 20 years
Monday 6 February 2023 14:10 , Stuti Mishra
In the wake of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has struck Turkey and northwest Syria, killing hundreds of people across both nations, here are some the largest earthquakes from around the world during the past two decades.
Deadly earthquake exacerbates suffering of displaced Syrians
Monday 6 February 2023 13:50 , Stuti Mishra
“The powerful 7.8 magnitude quake that struck before dawn on Monday wreaked new damage and suffering in Syria’s last rebel-held enclave, already wrecked by years of fighting and bombardment and housing millions of displaced Syrians who had fled their homes during the country’s civil war.
Hospitals and clinics are flooded with injured. In the enclave, centred in Idlib province, many of the displaced live in dire conditions in makeshift camps. Many others there and in neighboring government-held areas are housed in buildings weakened by past bombings and left even more vulnerable to shocks from earthquakes.”Read the full report:
Moment building collapses as 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits Turkey and Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 13:30 , Stuti Mishra
'Crisis within multiple crises': Rights group raises concerns for vulnerable Syrians after earthquake devastation
Monday 6 February 2023 13:10 , Stuti Mishra
The Internationa Rescue Committee says its “deeply concerned” about the impact of this morning’s devastating earthquake on the vulnerable communities in Turkey and Syria.
In a statement, the organisation said with rising casualty figures, there are “very real concerns about the ability of an already decimated health system to cope inside Syria.”
“This earthquake is yet another devastating blow to so many vulnerable populations already struggling after years of conflict. It is a crisis within multiple crises - temperatures are plummeting to below zero leaving thousands exposed,” said Tanya Evans, Syria Country Director for IRC.
“Women and children will find themselves particularly at risk of exploitation and abuse should they find themselves once again displaced.”
“Many in northwest Syria have been displaced up to 20 times and with health facilities strained beyond capacity, even before this tragedy many did not have access to the health care they critically need.”
Footballer Christian Atsu trapped ‘under rubble’ after Turkey earthquake
Monday 6 February 2023 13:00 , Stuti Mishra
Atsu, 31, a former Chelsea and Newcastle winger, joined Hatayspor last summer, and the club’s sporting director Taner Savut is also thought to be trapped.
Follow our live blog here for the latest.
KEY POST: Experts fear death toll can significantly increase amid harsh winter conditions
Monday 6 February 2023 12:50 , Andy Gregory
As rescuers continue to dig through mountains of debris, experts are raising alarms over the harsh conditions and severity of the earthquake that can raise the death toll further.
Dr Steven Godby, an expert in natural hazards at Nottingham Trent University, has warned that the vulnerability of the population and winter snow can make rescue efforts more difficult and drive up the death toll.
“Unfortunately the death toll is likely to climb quickly,” Mr Godby said. “A similar magnitude earthquake that hit Izmit in Turkey in 1999 killed more than 17,000 people and left more than a quarter of a million homeless.”
“Early images show the pancake collapse of several buildings in the affected area and these are associated with significant loss of life – typically 30 per cent of those in these kinds of collapse lose their lives.”
“The earthquake struck early in the morning when people will have been asleep at home and the weather is very cold meaning those trapped in rubble face the threat from low temperatures.”
“The first 24-48 hours is when most people are normally rescued in this situations, but the cold weather may reduce that time. The challenge is further compounded by the fact that there are already large numbers of displaced people in northern Syria as a result of the civil war.”
China willing to offer humanitarian aid to Turkey, Syria
Monday 6 February 2023 12:30 , Stuti Mishra
China is willing to provide humanitarian emergency aid to earthquake-struck Turkey and Syria, a spokesperson from China International Development Cooperation Agency has said.
China expressed condolences and concern for the loss of life and property, and is in communications with both Turkey and Syria.
Turkey death toll rises to over 1,000
Monday 6 February 2023 12:17 , Stuti Mishra
The death toll in Turkey has been updated to 1,014, the country’s disaster agency head has said.
Earlier Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said more than 5,000 people were confirmed injured following the devastating earthquake this morning, believed to be the country’s largest disaster since 1939.
Mr Erdogan said adding that 2,818 buildings collapsed as a result of the 7.8 magnitude quake.
The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria has crossed 1,500 with rescuers continuing to dig through debris amid harsh winters.
Death toll in opposition-controlled areas in Syria rises to at least 221
Monday 6 February 2023 11:42 , Stuti Mishra
The White Helmets, a civil defence group that operates in opposition-controlled areas in Syria, has updated the death toll to 221, adding that at least 419 people are confirmed to be injured.
The agency said they are facing “difficulty in rescue efforts as hundreds remain trapped under rubble & heavy equipment needed.”
“Number expected to rise as hundreds of families still trapped,” it said in a tweet, sharing graphic images of dead bodies wrapped in sheets.
Photos show devastating scenes as rescuers dig through snow and rubble to find victims
Monday 6 February 2023 11:30 , Stuti Mishra
Turkey shuts down southern airport
Monday 6 February 2023 11:23 , Stuti Mishra
Turkey’s southern Adana airport has been closed for flights until further notice, Demiroren news agency has reported.
The devastating earthquake has left a trail of destruction in seven southern provinces in Italy as well as northern areas of Syria with 1,300 people confirmed dead so far.
Breaking: Second powerful earthquake rocks Turkey
Monday 6 February 2023 11:02 , Stuti Mishra
Turkey has been hit with a second earthquake measuring more than 7 magnitude, according to measurements from the US Geological Survey.
The tremor, measuring 7.5 magnitude was picked up about four kilometres outside Ekinozu, which is around 100 miles north of Gaziantep, close to where the first earthquake hit.
More details here:
President Erdogan says 45 countries promised help, here's a roundup of who has offered what so far
Monday 6 February 2023 10:51 , Stuti Mishra
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that 45 countries have so far offered to send help and aid as the country witnesses a death toll of almost 1,000 in the aftermath of the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Here's a round-up of some of the detailed offers of assistance that have been made to Turkey and Syria so far today, which include:
India’s government said two teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and equipment were ready to be flown to the disaster area. Medical teams were being readied and relief material was being sent in coordination with the Turkish authorities.
Poland will send a rescue group consisting of 76 firemen and eight dogs.
The European Union said it had activated its emergency Copernicus satellite mapping service to help first responders working on the ground.
Russia’s emergencies ministry said it had two IL-76 aircraft with 100 rescuers were ready to fly out to Turkey if required.
Urban rescue teams from Spain are preparing to travel to Turkey, the interior ministry said.
Taiwan’s fire department said it had a team of 130 people, along with five search dogs and 13 tonnes of aid, ready to go to Turkey, and was awaiting a response.