Deadly New Quakes Trap People Under Rubble In Turkey
Rescuers are once again searching for people trapped under rubble in Turkey after two new earthquakes hit the country, killing at least three people.
Tremors of 6.4 and 5.8 magnitude struck in the south-east near the border with Syria, where massive quakes devastated both countries on 6 February. The earlier quakes killed 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria with tens of thousands more left homeless.
Buildings weakened by those tremors collapsed in both countries on Monday. Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency says the 6.4 tremor occurred at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT), followed by the 5.8 quake three minutes later.
The three deaths occurred in Antakya, Defne, and Samandag, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, urging people not to enter potentially dangerous buildings. Mr Soylu said 213 people had also been injured.
Reports from the city of Antakya spoke of fear and panic in the streets as ambulances and rescue crews tried to reach the worst affected areas where the walls of badly damaged buildings had collapsed. “I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet,” local resident Muna al-Omar told Reuters news agency, crying as she held her seven-year-old son.
She had been in a tent in a park in the city centre when the new earthquakes hit. Ali Mazlum, 18, told AFP news agency he had been looking for the bodies of family members from the previous earthquakes when the latest tremors hit.
“You don’t know what to do… we grabbed each other and right in front of us, the walls started to fall,” he said.
In Syria, some 470 injured people are said to have visited hospitals after Monday’s quakes, which were also reportedly felt in Egypt and Lebanon.