A devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey, Monday morning, killed more than a thousand people in the country and hundreds of others in neighboring Syria, according to US officials, amid American expectations that the losses from the disaster will exceed one billion dollars.
The pictures showed widespread destruction, while rescue teams rushed to the rubble of the buildings, in order to extract survivors who were likely stuck under the rubble.
The earthquake, which occurred in the Kahramanmaraş region, close to the border with Syria, was felt in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Israel, while areas were severely affected by the disaster.
After the first earthquake, another new earthquake of magnitude 7.5 was recorded, Monday afternoon, in northeastern Turkey.
As is usual in such disasters, the region was subjected to a series of other aftershocks, while the largest losses were recorded in southern Turkey and central Syria.
What do we know so far?
At least 1,121 people have been killed and more than 7,000 injured in Turkey alone, according to the country’s disaster management agency.
In Syria, 371 people were confirmed dead and 1,089 injured, in Latakia, Hama, Aleppo and Tartous.
In areas outside the control of the government in Syria, it was announced that 380 people were killed due to the earthquake, while about a thousand were injured.
Hundreds of Syrians are still stuck under the rubble, amid intense efforts to get them out.
The earthquake is the strongest the region has recorded in decades.
This area lies on a belt that makes it more prone to earthquakes, according to experts.
Awful solitaires and wholesale losses
The pictures showed a tragic situation in Bab Al-Hawa Hospital, north of Idlib, where the place was filled with wounded people, while the children’s faces appeared to be covered in blood.
The children and adults who went to the hospital looked dusty on their faces, due to the collapse of buildings that threaten to displace many families.
Rescue workers say every minute of delay means more casualties, because many people are still under the rubble waiting for a helping hand.
In Turkey, some 9,000 rescue workers are searching for survivors, according to President Erdogan, who said 45 countries, along with NATO and the European Union, have offered to help.
The pictures showed a collapse in the historic Gaziantep Castle, which dates back to the second century AD.
The castle served as a tourist site for many visitors in the region, but the earthquake caused damage described as massive.
After the earthquake, international reactions in solidarity with Turkey and Syria followed, amid offers of support, in light of reports of horrific losses.
The occurrence of this earthquake in the winter season, in light of very low temperatures, portends an increase in the suffering of families, especially since the situation was difficult before the earthquake occurred, due to the consequences of the war and the economic crisis in Syria.
The New York Times wrote that the earthquake that occurred on Monday is making matters worse in both Syria and Turkey, due to the huge size of the losses.
The US Geological Survey estimated the losses from this earthquake at one billion dollars, according to the American New York Times.