Monday, February 6, 2023 – 4:17 AM (Turkish and Syrian time zone) a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the region while people were asleep in their beds.
The epicenter of the 7.8 magnitude quake was 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The epicenter of the 7.5 magnitude quake (the second one) was 95 kilometers (59 miles) north of the original quake.
Buildings collapsed in both countries, trapping thousands of families sleeping in the early morning hours.
The devastation is enormous. The White Helmets and hundreds of civilians are hard at work trying to rescue people who are buried under the rubble in Idlib, Syria. Rescue workers are doing the same in Turkey.
So far, the numbers of dead and injured are enormous, and apt to rise as bodies are dug out. The count as of now is: in Turkey, at least 2,316 people are dead, with over 11,000 more being injured across 10 provinces, (according to Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay). 5606 buildings have collapsed.
In neighboring Syria: at least 1,136 people have died. The Syrian state news agency SANA, reports 656 people have died across government-controlled areas, mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, and Tartus. The rest of the dead are being pulled from the rubble in Idlib.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin called Syria’s Bashar al Assad to give condolences. The irony is not lost here as Putin and Assad have continued their bombing genocide in many of these stricken areas.
45 nations across the world have offered their support to Turkye.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared seven days of national mourning following the deadly quakes. Turkish flags will fly at half-staff across the nation and at its diplomatic missions overseas.
Rescue efforts are hampered by severe weather conditions in both countries, but the efforts continue with hopes of finding survivors.