At least 1,498 killed, 8,533 injured as powerful quakes hit southern Türkiye

At least 1,498 killed, 8,533 injured as powerful quakes hit southern Türkiye

Baku, February 6, AZERTAC

At least 1,498 people were killed and 8,533 others injured in 10 provinces after two strong earthquakes jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, an official from the country's disaster agency said, according to Anadolu Agency.

Early Monday morning, a strong 7.7 earthquake, centered in the Pazarcik district, jolted Kahramanmaras and heavily affected several provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis.

A new 7.6 magnitude earthquake at 13.24 p.m. (1024GMT) struck southern Türkiye, which was centered in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras.

Orhan Tatar, AFAD risk reduction general manager, said a total of 120 aftershocks occurred, and 2,834 buildings collapsed.

The total number of search and rescue personnel assigned in the region is 9,698, according to the AFAD.

There is currently no tsunami threat that would affect Türkiye's Eastern Mediterranean coasts, AFAD said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Türkiye was shaken by the "biggest disaster" since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake in the last century.

"Our state has taken action with all its institutions since the earthquake. All resources have been mobilized," he said at the AFAD office in the capital Ankara, where he coordinates the rescue and relief works.

The president talked to the mayors of Adana, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis on the phone and received information about the search and rescue activities, according to the Turkish presidency.

Vice President Fuat Oktay said at a news conference that Erdogan has been following and managing the event since the moment of the earthquake.

Oktay added that Hatay Airport is currently closed to flights, saying they have also closed Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep to civil flights.

"102 mobile base stations have been sent to the earthquake zones so far," Oktay said.

He also called on all media organizations, institutions, and organizations to rely on official statements in order not to cause information pollution.

The vice president also said all schools in these 10 provinces are closed for a week.

Meanwhile, National Education Minister Mahmut Ozer said schools in Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Adana, Osmaniye, and Kilis provinces will be closed for one week.

"As of today, we are taking a two-week break from education in Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Adiyaman, and Malatya provinces," Ozer added.

Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu said all national sports organizations to be held in Türkiye have been suspended until further notice.

The earthquake was also felt in several countries in the region, including Lebanon and Syria.

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