Magnitude-7.7 and 7.6 quakes cause major damage in southern Türkiye

Magnitude-7.7 and 7.6 quakes cause major damage in southern Türkiye

Magnitude-7.7 and 7.6 quakes cause major damage in southern Türkiye

A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake rattled the southern province of Kahramanmaraş, claiming the lives of at least 1498 people and injuring more than 8,500 others, while tremors were also in nine other provinces in the country.

The magnitude 7.7 quake struck 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) below the surface in Kahramanmaraş’s Pazarcık district on Feb. 6 at 4:17 a.m., according to Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

After multiple large and small tremors, another 7.6-magnitude earthquake occurred in Kahramanmaraş at 1:26 p.m.

Many buildings damaged in the first major earthquake collapsed by the impact of the second major earthquake.

The earthquake also rocked the neighboring provinces of Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis and neighboring countries, including Syria and Lebanon.

Following the 7.7 magnitude earthquake centered in Kahramanmaraş’s Pazarcık district, nearly 100 aftershocks were experienced in the region, most of them over magnitude 6, AFAD announced.

‘Main destruction in 10 provinces’

Describing the earthquake as the most severe disaster after the 1939 Erzincan earthquake the country experienced in the last century, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that though there were minor damages in other provinces relatively close to the earthquake center, major destruction occurred in these 10 provinces.

It was reported that the most severe damage and loss of life in the earthquake occurred in the Pazarcık, Elbistan and Türkoğlu districts of Kahramanmaraş.

A hospital in Hatay’s İskenderun district collapsed due to the earthquake, while runways at airports in Hatay and Adana were severely damaged and flights were immediately halted.

Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş provinces were also closed to civil flights, while Turkish Airlines (THY) announced that it scheduled additional flights to the earthquake zone.

As a result of the damage to the natural gas transmission line in Gaziantep, the natural gas flow was also stopped in Gaziantep, Hatay and Kahramanmaraş provinces.

Education suspended for two weeks

Education Minister Mahmut Özer announced that education has been suspended for two weeks in preschools and primary, secondary and high schools in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Adıyaman and Malatya.

Higher education institutions in Kahramanmaraş, Adana, Malatya, Adıyaman, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis and Osmaniye have been also closed until a second announcement.

All sports competitions and events have been suspended across the country.

Türkiye lies in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. The 7.4 magnitude Düzce earthquake in 1999 was one of the worst in the history of Türkiye in decades.

Meanwhile, at least 783 people were killed Monday across Syria following the earthquake. 

The Syrian health ministry said the death toll rose to "1,284 injured and 403 dead in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Tartus" - all government-controlled areas.

The White Helmets rescue group that operates in rebel-held areas of the war-torn country said "the death toll from the earthquake in northwestern Syria has risen to more than 380 and more than 1,000 injured".

Magnitude-7.7 and 7.6 quakes cause major damage in southern Türkiye