Turkey has declared seven days of national mourning after earthquakes jolted southern provinces of the country. At least 1,541 people were killed and 9733 others were injured when two earthquakes hit southern provinces of Turkey on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported citing Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.7, centered in the Pazarcik district, jolted Kahramanmaras and hit several provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis, as per the Anadolu Agency report. Later, an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 centered in Kahramanmaras’s Elbistan district jolted the region. Fuat Oktay said that earthquakes had a total of 145 aftershocks and 3,741 buildings collapsed, as per the news report. The earthquake was also felt in several neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said that nearly 9700 search and rescue personnel have been working in the region, as per the news report. According to AFAD, there is no tsunami threat to the Eastern Mediterranean coasts in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey was shaken by the “biggest disaster” since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake. Erdogan spoke to the mayors of Adana, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis on the phone and was informed about search and rescue efforts, according to the Turkish presidency, as per the Anadolu Agency report.
Turkey’s National Education Minister Mahmut Ozer said education in Turkey is suspended until February 13. Meanwhile, Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu said all national sports events in the country have been suspended until further notice, according to an Anadolu Agency report.
AFAD in a statement said that Turkey issued a level 4 alarm, which includes a call for international aid. AFAD said that international assistance was called for through the Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC) after a discussion with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, as per the news report.
The death toll in Syria due to the earthquake has reached 237 deaths and 639 injured, mostly in Lattakia, Aleppo, Hama, and Tartous, SANA reported. As per the news report, Syria has called on United Nations member states and other international organizations to help support the efforts made by the Syrian government to face the effects of the earthquake that jolted the nation.