Over 600 person has been confirmed dead, and thousands injured as a result of the powerful quake that hit southern Turkey and Syria. The 7.8-magnitude quake reportedly took place around 4:00am on Monday morning. It reportedly shook countries as far as Lebanon and Israel.
Notably, rescuers are racing to find survivors trapped beneath rubble either side of the Turkey-Syrian border as the death toll from one of the strongest earthquakes to hit Turkey in 100 years.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake’s epicenter was 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles).
According to Turkey Vice President Fuat Oktay, about least 284 people were killed and more than 2,300 injured. In neighboring Syria, at least 386 people died, including 239 mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus.
Monday’s quake is believed to be the strongest to hit Turkey since 1939, when an earthquake of the same magnitude killed 30,000 people, according to the USGS. Earthquakes of this magnitude are rare, with fewer than five occurring each year on average, anywhere in the world. Seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck Turkey in the past 25 years – but Monday’s is the most powerful.
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