April 13, 2024

Turkey death toll climbs to 912

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan says 912 people have been killed in Turkey alone, and 5,383 wounded, due to the earthquake.

He says he can’t predict how much the death toll will rise by as search and rescue efforts continue.

This is the country’s largest disaster since 1939, Erdogan tells reporters, adding that 2,818 buildings collapsed as a result.

Dormant fault line was devastating in the past

Pallab Ghosh

Science correspondent

The earthquake has occurred around a region of instability called the East Anatolian fault, which runs south-west to north-west of the south-eastern border of Turkey.

Seismologists have long recognised that this fault is very dangerous, though there has not been any significant activity for more than 100 years, but it has been responsible for very damaging earthquakes in the past.

In particular, on 13 August 1882, when it caused an earthquake registering 7.4 in magnitude, significantly less than the 7.8 magnitude recorded today.

Even so, that 19th century earthquake resulted in immense damage to towns in the area, with 7,000 deaths recorded on the city of Allepo. Damaging aftershocks continued for nearly a year.

    1. Where did the earthquake occur?

      The epicentre of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria this morning was near the city of Gaziantep, in south-eastern Turkey.

      But people across the country, as well as Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel, felt the earth move from the 7.8 magnitude quake.

      Earthquake map
    2. Schools suspended for a week in affected areas – Turkey vice president

      Schools in the 10 cities and provinces across Turkey hit by the earthquake will be closed for a week, the country’s vice president Fuat Oktay says.

      The cities and provinces are are Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Malatya, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Diyarbakır, Kilis.

      Oktay also said flights to and fro the airport in Hatay province have been suspended, while airports in Maraş and Antep are also closed to civilian flights.

  1. Gaziantep has highest death toll among Turkish cities so far

    GAZIANTEP, TURKIYE - FEBRUARY 06: A view of debris as rescue workers conduct search and rescue operations after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit southern provinces of Turkiye, in Gaziantep, Turkiye on February 6, 2023. (Photo by Irfan Aydogdu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
    Image caption: Rescue workers in Gaziantep

    The major Turkish city Gaziantep has the highest death toll so far with 80 casualties.

    Gaziantep is located about 90km from the Syrian border and historically known as Antep. Several other quakes hit the city on Monday after the initial powerful 7.8 magnitude quake, including one of magnitude 6.4 and another at magnitude 6.5.

    Seventy deaths have been reported in Kahramanmaras, with the second-highest death toll.

    Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said earlier in the day that 284 people have been killed and 2,323 injured in 10 provinces so far.

  2. We need help from everyone – White Helmets

    Ismail Al Abdullah from the White Helmets, the civil defence organisation best known for working in rebel-held areas of Syria, spoke to the BBC from Sarmada in Syria, near the border with Turkey.

    He says: “Many buildings in different cities and villages in northwestern Syria collapsed, destroyed by this earthquake. Our teams responded to all the sites and the buildings – and still now, many families are under the rubble. We are trying to save them but it’s a very hard task for us.

    “We need help. 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,” Al Abdullah adds.

  3. Turkish Red Crescent calls for blood donations

    The president of the Turkish Red Crescent called on the nation to make blood donations.

    Kerem Kınık also said on Twitter the organisation sending additional shipment of blood to the affected region.

    He also urged the public to leave damaged buildings and clear the streets for rescuers.

  4. In pictures: Search and rescue operations under way

    As daylight broke, the scale of the devastation across Turkey and Syria became clear.

    A view of debris as rescue workers conduct search and rescue operations after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Kahramanmaras, Turkey
    Image caption: Search and rescue operations take place in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province
    Emergency personnel search for victims at the site of a collapsed building after a powerful earthquake in Diyarbakir, south east of Turkey
    Image caption: Emergency personnel search for victims at site of collapsed building in Diyarbakir, Turkey
    A crushed car in Diyarbakir, Turkey
    Image caption: People search through rubble in Diyarbakir, Turkey
    A rescue worker carries a child at the site of a damaged building, following an earthquake, in rebel-held Azaz, Syria
    Image caption: A rescue worker carrying a child in the rebel-held Syrian city Azaz
    People and emergency personnel search for victims at the site of a collapsed building after a powerful earthquake in Diyarbakir, southeast of Turkey, 06 February 2023. According to the US Geological Service, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck southern Turkey close to the Syrian border. The earthquake caused buildings to collapse and sent shockwaves over northwest Syria, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Earthquake in southeast Turkey, Diyarbakir - 06 Feb 2023
    Image caption: Search continues for victims at site of collapsed building in Diyarbakir, Turkey
  5. Watch: ‘People are still trapped under the rubble’

    Rescue teams are searching for survivors after a devastating earthquake shook Turkey and Syria in the early hours of Monday.

    Residents in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir describe what they have witnessed.

  6. Turkey one of world’s most earthquake prone places

    Map showing the epicentre of the February 2023 earthquake in Turkey

    Situated on or near several fault lines, Turkey is one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.

    Most of the country is located on the Anatolian tectonic plate, which sits between two major plates – the Eurasian and African – and another minor one, the Arabian. As the two large plates shift, Turkey is essentially squeezed, experts say.

    That means quakes and tremors are a fairly common experience. The country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) recorded over 22,000 in 2022.

    And many are deadly – the worst on record a 7.6 magnitude earthquake which struck İzmit in 1999, killing more than 17,000 people.

  7. Syria’s Assad chairs emergency meeting after 320 reported dead

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has updated its preliminary death toll to 320 for the whole of Syria shortly before 07:00 GMT.

    Meanwhile, Syria’s President Bashar Assad chaired an emergency meeting early this morning.

  8. European leaders promise help to region

    Dutch PM Mark Rutte has announced a Dutch search and rescue team will join the hunt for survivors in Turkey and Syria. In a tweet, he also shared his condolences to Turkey’s president Erdogan, saying: “Thoughts are with all victims of this serious natural disaster.”

    The Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said that Greece would also be “mobilising its resources” and assist the affected areas “immediately”.

    The leaders of Serbia and Sweden have also promised to send help to the region.

  9. ‘Never felt anything like it in 40 years’

    Locals have described their fear and confusion as the powerful quake hit in the early hours of the morning.

    “Paintings fell off the walls in the house,” Samer, a resident of Syrian capital Damascus told Reuters.

    “I woke up terrified. Now we’re all dressed and standing at the door.”

    In the Turkish city of Gaziantep, Erdem described feeling shaken around “like a baby in a crib”.

    “I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I’ve lived,” he told Reuters over the phone.

    “Everybody is sitting in their cars, or trying to drive to open spaces away from buildings.”

    “I imagine not a single person in Gaziantep is in their homes now.”

    Teams help pull the wounded out of a collapsed building in Gaziantep, Turkey.
    Image caption: Teams help pull the wounded out of a collapsed building in Gaziantep, Turkey

    Another man in Pazarcık said his family had woken to powerful shocks, and faced a cold and tense wait for sunrise to survey the damage.

    “There are destroyed buildings around me, there are houses on fire. There are buildings that are cracking. A building collapsed just 200 meters away from where I am now,” Nihat Altundağ said, in a report by The Guardian.

    “People are all outside, all in fear.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *