Two strong earthquakes measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale shook southeastern Turkey.
The , measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck at 4:17 a.m. with an epicenter near the city of Gaziantep. It was felt as far as Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt. More than 50 aftershocks followed. At 13:24 p.m. local time, a measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale was registered in Central Turkey. The epicenter is near the town of Ekinozu.
The dead as a result of the two earthquakes are over 2,300, with the information changing with every passing minute. To date, over 5,300 have been injured, and over 2,500 survivors have been rescued from the ruins.
A man with Bulgarian and Turkish citizenship living in the town of Iskenderun is missing after the building he lived in was destroyed during the powerful earthquake.
Turkey has declared the highest level of alert - fourth. There is serious destruction, entire buildings have collapsed. This is the strongest earthquake in the area for the last 100 years.
The epicenter of the first 7.8-magnitude quake was 10 kilometers from the city of Gaziantep to the border with Syria. Dozens of buildings were razed to the ground. There are fears that the death toll will rise sharply in the coming hours.
According to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Bulgaria in Ankara, . President Rumen Radev sent a letter of condolence to his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan.
Our country sent .
So far, 13 EU countries have offered aid to Turkey. Due to the devastating earthquake, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated. So far, teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania have been mobilized. Italy, Spain and Slovakia have also offered rescue teams to Turkey.
The EU is also ready to support those affected in Syria, which has also reported casualties, through its humanitarian aid programs.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan called for unity on Twitter.
In Syria, there are destroyed buildings in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus, where Russia has a naval base. Terrified Syrians fled their homes and cars lined the streets. The heavily damaged buildings from the war in Syria collapsed. Rescue teams in the town of Azaz rejoiced after finding a little girl under the rubble.
Turkish energy company Botas reported that there was no damage to pipelines from the earthquakes in Turkey. Gas supply has been shut off in some areas as a precautionary measure. The White House expressed condolences for those who died in Turkey and Syria. President Joe Biden ordered an assessment of financial aid options for the quake-hit areas. The authorities in Israel have also announced that they are ready to provide assistance to Turkey.
The Turkish side has requested international assistance from the member states of the European Union through its emergency and civil protection agency AFAD. The request contains a request for support in ongoing rescue operations.
Our compatriots in Istanbul say that earthquakes are also expected there and people are prepared for evacuation.
A famous 13th-century mosque partially collapsed in Malta province, where a 14-story building with 28 apartments that housed 92 people also collapsed. In other cities, social media posts showed a 2,200-year-old hilltop castle built by Roman troops in Gaziantep lying in ruins, its walls partially reduced to rubble.
"We hear voices here - and there too," a rescuer was heard saying on NTV television outside a collapsed building in the city of Diyarbakr. "There could be 200 people under the rubble."
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