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Friday, March 24, 2023

A massive earthquake collapses buildings in Turkey and Syria.

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A powerful earthquake hit an area in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, killing more than 500 people and trapping many in their sleep. The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred at 04:17 Local time (01: 17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9 km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the death toll in Turkey now stands at 284. State media reported that more than 230 people had died in Syria. The Syrian Ministry of Health announced deaths in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, and Tartus. The death toll could rise sharply in the next few hours. Many buildings collapsed and rescue teams were dispatched to search for survivors under the pile of rubble.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said 10 cities were affected: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.In Malatya province, north-east of Gaziantep, at least 23 people were killed, local officials said. In Sanliurfa, to the east, there were 17 deaths. And more deaths were reported in Diyarbakir and Osmaniye. At least 2,323 people were injured in Turkey and 639 in Syria.

Turkish seismologists estimated the magnitude of the quake at magnitude 7.4. They said a second quake hit the area just minutes later. Turkey is located in one of the most active seismic belts in the world.

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