Three dead after Turkey hit by 6.4 magnitude earthquake two weeks after disaster

World

Three people have been killed and more than 200 injured after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkey-Syria border two weeks after massive quake in the region left more than 45,000 dead.

More buildings have collapsed, trapping some people, while more than 130 injuries were recorded in neighbouring Syria.

Turkey’s AFAD disaster management agency said the earthquake was centred around the town of Defne in the country’s Hatay province, which was the worst-hit region after the huge 7.8 magnitude tremor earlier this month.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said three people were killed and 213 injured in the earthquake on Monday, which was followed by a 5.8 magnitude tremor.

Search and rescue efforts were underway in three collapsed buildings where six people were believed trapped.

In Hatay, police rescued one person trapped inside a three-story building and were trying to reach three others inside, HaberTurk television reported.

It said those trapped included movers helping people shift furniture and other belongings from the building that was damaged in the earthquake two weeks ago.

Families have been caught up in the latest earthquake to hit Hatay province. Pic: AP
Image:
Families have been caught up in the latest earthquake to hit Hatay province. Pic: AP

Syria’s state news agency, SANA, reported that six people were injured in Aleppo by falling debris.

The White Helmets, northwest Syria’s civil defence organisation, reported more than 130 injuries, most of them non-life threatening, including fractures and cases of people fainting, while a number of buildings collapsed in areas already damaged.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) at about 8:04pm local time (5.04pm UK time).

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the quake was also felt in Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.

Two witnesses told Reuters it caused further damage to buildings in central Antakya, the capital of Hatay province.

The latest earthquake struck at a depth of 10km
Image:
The latest earthquake struck at a depth of 10km

Other witnesses said Turkish rescue teams were “running around” after the latest quake, checking people were unharmed.

NTV television said it caused some damaged buildings to collapse, but there were no immediate reports of any casualties.

Muna Al Omar, a resident, said she was in a tent in a park in central Antakya when the earthquake hit.

“I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet,” she said, crying as she held her 7-year-old son in her arms.

“Is there going to be another aftershock?” she asked.

The latest earthquake came after news on Saturday that three members of one family – a mother, father and 12-year-old boy – were extracted from a collapsed building after 12 days under rubble.

The boy later died.

Meanwhile, some media outlets in Syria’s Idlib and Aleppo regions that were badly affected by the earthquake on Monday are reporting that buildings have collapsed and that electricity and internet services have been interrupted in parts of the region.

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From 18 February: Couple rescued after 12 days under rubble

The media outlets said many people fled their homes and are now gathering in open areas.

The Turkish disaster management agency, AFAD, has raised the number of confirmed fatalities from the earthquake on 6 February in Turkey to 41,156. More than one million people have been left homeless.

Part of the devastation in Hatay province. Pic: AP
Image:
Part of the devastation in Hatay province. Pic: AP

The authorities have also recorded more than 6,000 aftershocks.

Search and rescue operations for survivors have been called off in most of the quake zone, but AFAD chief Yunus Sezer told reporters that search teams were pressing ahead with their efforts in more than a dozen collapsed buildings – most of them in the hardest-hit province of Hatay.

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