The death toll is rising from a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday. Scores were killed in both countries, hundreds were injured and the toll was expected to rise.
Here is the latest:
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency said the 7.8 magnitude earthquake has killed at least 76 people were killed in seven Turkish provinces. The agency said 440 people were injured.
The news was announced as rescuers scrambled in areas across southeast Turkey to search for people trapped in toppled apartment blocks and other buildings. Suleyman Soylu, the Turkish interior minister, called the shock a “devastating earthquake” and said the armed forces were assisting civilian agencies in the rescue effort.
Meanwhile, the death toll in government-held areas of Syria from Monday’s quake climbed to 99, according to Syrian state media citing the Health Ministry. In addition, at least 334 people were injured in Syria. Earlier, 20 people were reported killed in rebel-held areas of Syria.
This raises the overall death toll to 195 in Turkey and Syria.
Syrian officials say at least 99 people have been killed in government-held areas of the country following a powerful earthquake that hit Syria and neighboring Turkey, raising the death toll to 119 in Syria.
Assistant Health Minister Ahmad Dumeira told a state news agency that 200 people were also injured by the quake in the provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia.
At least 20 other people were killed in the rebel-held northwest. The quake was centered north of the city of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey and an about 90 kilometers (60 miles) from the Syrian border.
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has issued a public appeal for people in quake-hit areas in southeast Turkey not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks and to help keep roads clear to give ambulances and rescuers access to damaged buildings.
“Our priority is to bring out people trapped under ruined buildings and to transfer them to hospitals,” Soylu said.
At least 130 buildings tumbled down in Turkey’s Malatya province, neighboring the epicenter, Gov. Hulusi Sahin said. In the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, at least 15 buildings collapsed.
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