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Thousands killed and injured as massive earthquake hits Turkey and Syria
6 February 2023
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck southern Turkey and Syria, killing and injuring thousands of people. The earthquake, which struck at 04.17 local time on Monday (6 February), was followed 11 minutes later by a magnitude 6.7 aftershock.
The number of dead and injured is rising rapidly. As of 08.15 CET, citing Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay, the BBC reports that the death toll in Turkey has risen to 284, with 2,323 people injured. At least 200 people have been killed and over 600 injured in government-held regions of Syria. The number of dead and injured in rebel-held areas is currently unknown.
The epicentre was approximately 20km west of the city of Gaziantep, and was felt as far away as Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus. Italy also released a tsunami warning soon after the quake struck, but it has since been lifted.
In apocalyptic scenes resembling war-torn Ukraine, footage on social media has shown collapsed buildings and people stuck under rubble calling for help. Rows of tower blocks in major cities across Turkey have been levelled, and in rebel-held northern Syria, the situation is likely to be significantly worsened due to limited access to healthcare and poor living conditions.