Istanbul: Turkey was rocked by three earthquakes within 24 hours on Monday, killing more than 2,300 people. The third earthquake of magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale hit Goksun, United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
Earlier in the day, a fresh earthquake measuring 7.6 magnitude hit southeast Turkey in the evening. This was followed by the first quake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck Turkey and Syria early Monday when people were asleep, According to the USGS, the second earthquake hit at 1:24 pm local time. It’s not clear if there are any casualties due to the second quake. The epicentre was the Elbistan region of Kahramanmaras province, Reuters reported.
he epicentre of the first quake was in Gaziantep, about 90 kilometres from the Syrian border. The tremors of the first quake were felt as far as Iraq and Cairo. According to Iraqi state media, small tremors were felt in Dohuk, Erbil and Mosul cities.
Over 900 people were killed in Turkey. The rescue efforts are getting hampered due to the snow and ice on major roads and also the winter blizzard has affected the operations of three major airports in the region which is preventing the authorities from delivering vital aid to the affected people in time.
The first quake struck a region in Turkey which is inhabited by millions of people who were displaced due to the decade-old civil war in the neighbouring Syria.
The casualties due to the first quake in the government-controlled parts of Syria have risen to 326.
According to the head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, Raed Ahmed described the quake as ‘the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre’.
Meanwhile, several countries like the US, European Union, Russia, war-torn Ukraine and India have offered to send help to Turkey. PM Narendra Modi has expressed his solidarity with the people of Turkey.
“India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey and is ready to offer all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy,” PM Modi said.
The affected region in Turkey and Syria sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. Some 18,000 were killed in similarly powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999.