Turkey earthquake kills 912 in historic disaster, Erdogan says
ANKARA, Feb 6 (Reuters) – At least 912 people were killed and more than 5,000 injured when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey overnight, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. , calling it a historic disaster whose death toll is likely to rise. increase.
The earthquake was centered in Kahramanmaras province and rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria overnight. It was followed by another powerful tremor with a magnitude of 7.7 in the same region around 10:25 GMT.
Erdogan said 2,818 buildings collapsed after the first tremor, describing it as the country’s “biggest disaster” since 1939, when a major quake hit the eastern province of Erzincan.
In 1999, a quake of similar magnitude devastated Izmit and the heavily populated eastern Marmara Sea region near Istanbul, killing more than 17,000 people.
“Everyone puts their heart and soul into their efforts, although the winter season, the cold weather and the earthquake that occurs during the night make it more difficult,” he told reporters. during a press conference at the Turkish Disaster Coordination Center in Ankara.
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“We don’t know how high the death toll will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake area,” he said.
Some 9,000 people took part in the rescue operations, he said. Offers of assistance have been made by NATO, the European Union and 45 countries, he added.
Erdogan said 5,385 people were injured in the quake as rescue operations continued, with 2,470 people rescued from the ruins of buildings.
“Today is a day when 85 million people will be united as one heart,” he said.
Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu and Ezgi Erkoyun; Written by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Angus MacSwan
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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