The dramatic balance of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake continues to rise that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria last night. The number of deaths in the two countries is around 1,800. In Turkey alone there would be at least 1,014 victims, while in Syria 783. All videos
The earthquake that struck Turkey last night was the largest disaster recorded in the country since 1939: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today, as reported by the Guardian. According to media reports, the Turkish leader was referring to the Erzincan earthquake, which claimed the lives of some 33,000 people 84 years ago. The 1999 İzmit earthquake, measuring 7.6, is believed to have killed more than 17,000 people.
More than 30 earthquakes have been recorded so far in Turkey, including the first – last night – of magnitude 7.8 and the most recent ones of magnitude 7.5 and 6.0.
“We are coping the largest earthquake we have seen in 24 years in this region. There have been 100 aftershocks so far. About 53 of them are more than 4 degrees (on the Richter scale). Seven of them are more than 5 degrees. We can say that these earthquakes will continue in the coming days. ” This was stated by Dr. Haluk Özener, director of the Kandilli observatory and earthquake research institute, as reported by the BBC in Turkish.
Pope Francis was ‘deeply saddened by the massive loss of life’ caused by the earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, assuring all those affected “of his spiritual closeness”. And in addition to her “closeness” and “condolences”, she expresses encouragement to the relief personnel. The Pontiff also expresses similar sentiments for the victims caused by the earthquake in the north-western area of Syria. This can be read in two telegrams sent, in the name of the Pope, by Cardinal Pietro Parolin to the apostolic nuncios in Turkey and Syria, mgr. Marek Solczynski and card. Mario Zenari.
The shocks of the devastating earthquake were felt up to Greenland. This was reported by the Danish Geological Institute.
Earthquake in Turkey, two little girls are pulled alive from the rubble
The Syrian civil protection NGO White Helmets (White Helmets) has declared a state of emergency in the north-east of the country and has launched an appeal to international humanitarian organizations to intervene with aid quickly. The earthquake occurred at 4:17 in the morning (2:17 Italian time) and had its epicenter near Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey about fifty kilometers from the Syrian border. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the earthquake: in addition to homes, the Church of the Annunciation of Iskenderun, a Catholic cathedral dating back to the 19th century, almost completely collapsed. The castle of Gaziantep, a Roman-era structure built in the third century, has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Rescue operations continue, it is estimated that many people are still under the rubble and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is constantly informed about the situation.
The Civil Protection Department had initially issued an alert for a possible tsunami caused by the earthquake in Turkey but the alert was later revoked. The United States has given its willingness to send “any type of assistance” to Ankara while a team of 370 people has already been sent from Azerbaijan to help with the relief efforts. The earthquake was also felt in the central provinces of Turkey and also in Israel.
White House, stand by to help – “The United States is deeply concerned by reports of today’s terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We stand ready to provide any assistance needed. President Biden has instructed USAID to evaluate US response options to help those most affected. We will continue to monitor the situation closely in coordination with the government of Turkey.” So the White House in a statement.
Zelensky, ‘ready to assist’ – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences on Twitter to the victims of the earthquake that hit southern Turkey overnight and offered assistance. “We stand by the Turkish people in this difficult time. We are ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster,” Zelensky said in a tweet.
Putin, stand by to assist – Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow is ready to provide all necessary assistance to Ankara following the powerful earthquake that has claimed many lives. The Kremlin, as Tass reports, quoted Putin’s condolence telegram to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “We are ready to provide the necessary assistance following the earthquake”.
Russia is close to the Syrian people hit hard by last night’s earthquake. This is what we read in the message sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Syrian colleague Bashar al Assad, according to a transcript by the Syrian government agency Sana. Putin also said that Russia is ready to help the Syrian people affected by tonight’s earthquake.
Borrell, the EU is ready to help – “A devastating earthquake shook Turkey and Syria this morning, killing hundreds of people and injuring many more. Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria. The EU is ready to help” : the High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell writes it in a tweet.
Tajani, all the Italians contacted are fine – “In the area where there was the strongest earthquake, there are 21 Italians: we have reached them and we understand that they are all well. In the wider area there are 168 Italians: from the crossings we have made, we understand that they are everyone safe”. This was stated by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani speaking with journalists about the earthquake between Turkey and Syria.
Piantedosi, ready to go with help – “We already have the resources and dedicated teams ready for research in dramatic urban contexts such as those that have occurred. I express my solidarity and closeness to the Turkish government and people. We Italians know very well what it means to experience dramas of this type, so we are preparing for the best to be part of every help. We already have a ready form of the fire brigade, plus other technological resources, we are ready to leave as soon as there is the consent of the helped country. It’s a matter of hours”. Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said it in Foggia, on the sidelines of the safety committee.
Strong tremors also in Lebanon – Terror in the night for the populations of various Lebanese cities where the earthquake with its epicenter in southern Turkey was felt several times also in Beirut, Tripoli and other Lebanese cities without however causing casualties or damage. “We thought it was another August 4,” a Lebanese woman told local media, terrified of reliving the trauma of the devastating Beirut port explosion that killed 250 people and injured more than 6,000 on August 4, 2020. Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi reported that there are no victims in Lebanon but has ordered the civil protection to secure civilians in areas where there are dangerous buildings and infrastructures.
Earthquake in Turkey, the buildings collapse hours after the earthquake
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