New quake in Hatay causes further destruction

New quake in Hatay causes further destruction

New quake in Hatay causes further destruction

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the southern province of Hatay at 8:04 p.m. on Feb. 20, killing six people after the devastating Feb. 6 quakes in which 42,310 people lost their lives.

The depth of the quake was determined to be 16.74 kilometers, while it was felt in Syria, Jordan, Cyprus, Israel and as far away as Egypt, and was followed by a second, a 5.8 magnitude aftershock in the Samandağ district three minutes after the first quake.

Türkiye’s disaster management agency, AFAD, stated that nearly 90 aftershocks have occurred so far since the first major quake on Feb. 20.

Among the dead were three people who became trapped after returning to their damaged flats to retrieve belongings, said AFAD, warning people against going back to homes at risk.

Officials have warned quake victims to not go into the remains of their homes, but people have done so to retrieve what they can. They were caught up in the new quake.

Some 294 people were injured after the recent quake, while 18 of them were in serious condition, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated.

A number of buildings collapsed in the new quake, trapping people inside, Hatay’s Mayor Lütfü Savas said.

These may be people who had returned to their damaged houses or were trying move their furniture out of damaged buildings.

Education was suspended for one day in the neighboring province of Mersin, where the earthquake was severely felt.

İbrahim Güzel, the mayor of the Defne district, the epicenter of the 6.4 magnitude quake, underlined that the quake was quite severe, and it was felt three times as strong as the Kahramanmaraş-centered quakes.

Immediately after the earthquake, AFAD issued a tsunami warning in accordance with the information received from Boğaziçi University’s Kandilli Observatory.

However, the agency withdrew the warning at around 9:30 p.m., stating that this was a precaution taken against the risk of rising water in the first two hours after the earthquake.

It was reported that there was no damage at Hatay Airport, which was closed to transportation for a while as it was damaged in the Feb. 6 earthquakes and reopened after renovations.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişci stated the dams were not damaged in a way that could cause a threat to the safety in the province.

Mehmet Şevket Köseoğlu, 21, whose house was destroyed in Feb. 20’s earthquake, stated that many buildings in the region were already heavily damaged due to previous major earthquakes.

“Our building was standing but heavily damaged. We saw that it was completely destroyed by the earthquake. We were trying to get our belongings left in the apartment under control, but we couldn’t get anything when it collapsed,” Köseoğlu explained.

Hatay has been the most severely damaged province by the Feb. 6 major earthquakes, while more than 21,000 people lost their lives in the city, which corresponds to more than half of the deaths in all the 11 quake-hit provinces.