ANKARA: At least 76 people have been killed across seven provinces in Turkey and 42 were reported dead in Syria in initial reports after a deadly earthquake struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi in Turkey’s Gaziantep province on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported citing disaster management authorities.
“At least 76 people killed, 440 injured over seven provinces as 7.4 earthquake hits southern provinces of Turkiye,” Anadolu Agency tweeted citing The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of the country
Meanwhile, Syrian state media SANA reported that close to 42 people lost their lives in the earthquake in Ankara and nearby regions, including the Syria-Lebanon border.
Exams scheduled for Monday in at least two Syrian universities have been postponed, SANA said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.
Multiple aftershocks followed the quake.
Social media videos showed multiple collapsed buildings and in Turkey and Syria with terrified locals huddling on the streets.
“At least 6 people killed, 79 injured, 6 buildings destroyed in southern Diyarbakir province as 7.4 earthquake hits southern provinces of Turkiye: Diyarbakir governor,” the Anadolu Agency tweeted.
Southern and central Turkey have both experienced powerful aftershocks. According to CNN, the strongest aftershock, measuring 6.7 in magnitude, struck around 32 kilometres (20 miles) northwest of the original earthquake’s epicentre about 11 minutes later.
The governor of Malayta province in Turkey said that at least 23 people were killed in his province, and 420 were injured. 140 buildings were destroyed, he added.
Similarly quoting the governors of Sanliurfa and Osmaniye provinces of Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported that 15 and 5 people were killed in the provinces, separately. The toll of the injured also remains high.
Several provinces in Southern Turkey also reported loss of lives.
There were reports of destroyed buildings in Turkey and Syria, where tremors also were felt.
People took to social media to post footage of the destruction, including collapsed buildings and people trapped under the rubble.
The casualty count is further expected to rise. (ANI)