2 Fresh Earthquakes Strike Turkiye & Syria, Death Rate Unknown As Many Still Trapped Under Rubble
Mere weeks after an extensive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, followed by several damaging aftershocks, the two nations face yet another disaster; two new tremors with magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 respectively took place just yesterday (February 20), within the Hatay region.
At least three fatalities and numerous injuries were recorded. The precise numbers, however, have not yet been verified as many individuals remain buried under rubble in Hatay, in Southern Turkiye.
Over 500 injuries were recorded in the northwest of neighbouring Syria, where the quake was also felt.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority AFAD reported one fatality in the Hatay town of Samandag. Other buildings reportedly toppled, but the majority of the population had already left following the initial earthquakes, according to locals. The streets were dark and deserted, surrounded with piles of trash and furniture.
The most recent earthquakes, which were weaker than the 7.8 and 7.5-magnitude ones that wreaked havoc in southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, threaten to cause even more destruction in a region where several people have abandoned their devastated dwellings for the safety of neighbouring cities and villages outside the epicentre.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported that the greater earthquake occurred at a depth of just 2 km (1.2 miles), which could have increased its impact on the ground. It was centred close to Antakya, another city in southern Turkey.
Hatay’s mayor, Lütfü Savaş, instantly expressed concern that the recent earthquakes had brought about additional damage throughout the province and might have resulted in additional human casualties in a region already struggling with some of Turkey’s greatest disasters. He stated that “several buildings were destroyed” and “some people are trapped under the rubble.”
The Guardian reported that most of the individuals who stayed in Hatay after the initial 7.8Mw quakes claimed that they did so out of a sense of helplessness, or a fear of completely losing their homes.
According to AFAD, the death toll in Turkey from the quakes two weeks ago increased to 41,156 on Monday and was anticipated to rise further given that 385,000 apartments were either completely demolished or severely damaged, and numerous others are still unaccounted for. In Turkey and Syria, it is estimated that at least 47,000 lives were lost so far.
Additionally, the construction of roughly 200,000 dwellings in 11 earthquake-stricken counties of Turkey will start next month, according to Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president of Turkey.
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