Death toll in new earthquakes in Turkey and Syria rises to 8

Death toll in new earthquakes in Turkey and Syria rises to 8

A man receives medical treatment after being injured in the latest earthquake in Hatay, Turkey, Feb. 20, 2023. (Efekan Akyuz/Depo Photos via AP)

ISTANBUL (AP) — A powerful new quake has killed at least eight people in Turkey and Syria two weeks after a devastating quake killed nearly 45,000 people in the same region, authorities and media said Tuesday.

According to Turkey’s disaster management agency, six people lost their lives and 294 others were injured, 18 of them seriously, after Monday’s 6.4 magnitude quake. In Syria, a woman and a girl died in panic in the provinces of Hama and Tartous, according to pro-government media.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the town of Defne, in the Turkish province of Hatay, on the border with Syria. The telluric movement was also felt in Jordan, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and even Egypt, and was followed by another of magnitude 5.8 and dozens of tremors.

Hatay was one of the hardest hit regions in Turkey by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6. Thousands of buildings were then destroyed in the province and Monday’s tremor added to the damage. The governor’s office in Antioch, the historic heart of Hatay, was also damaged.

Authorities had warned quake victims not to enter the ruins of their homes, but residents tried to salvage as many belongings as possible. Some were trapped on Monday.

Most deaths from the powerful quake earlier this month, which was followed by a magnitude 7.5 quake nine hours later, were in Turkey, with 41,156 fatalities. The epicenter was in the province of Kahramanmaras, in the south of the country. According to authorities, more than 110,000 buildings in 11 affected provinces were so destroyed or damaged that they had to be demolished.

In the government-controlled part of Syria in Damascus, a young girl was killed in the western town of Safita, according to the Al-Watan daily, and a woman was killed in the central Syrian town of Hama, which she had already been hit by the first quake, radio station Sham FM said.

The White Helmets, Syria’s northwest civil defense group, said some 190 people suffered various injuries in the rebel-held region, mostly broken bones and bruises. Several unstable buildings collapsed but no others were trapped, he added.

Melissa Galbraith
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