Thousands are feared dead after Turkey was hit by a second massive earthquake, just hours after an earlier quake k!lled more than 1,900 people and plunged the region into a humanitarian crisis.
The 7.8-magnitude night-time tremor reportedly wiped out entire sections of major Turkish cities in a region filled with millions of people who have fled the civil war in Syria and other conflicts.
The later 7.5 magnitude quake struck at 1.24pm (1024 GMT) two-and-a-half miles southeast of the town of Ekinozu and around 60 miles north of the first quake that has wrought devastation across Turkey and Syria.
Hundreds are still trapped under rubble on both sides of the border.
The World Health Organisation warned that it expects to see a ‘significant’ increase in the death toll as the disaster unfolds, and as rescue workers continue their search through mounds of wreckage for victims crushed in their sleep.
Heartbreaking videos and pictures from dozens of cities across the two countries have shown, damaged buildings and weeping parents carrying the lifeless bodies of their children in their arms.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency said the earthquake k!lled scores of people across seven Turkish provinces.
At around 12.10 GMT, Turkey’s disaster agency updated the death toll, saying the earthquake had killed 1,014 (rising from an earlier 912 figure given by Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan), and that 2,824 buildings had been destroyed.
The president said earlier another 5,000 people were injured, in what he described as the country’s largest disaster since 1939 (when 33,000 people were killed in the Erzincan earthquake).
‘Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts, although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night make things more difficult,’ he told reporters from Turkey’s disaster coordination centre in Ankara.
‘We do not know how high the casualty numbers will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake zone,’ he said.
🎞: @gettyimages @reuters