Turkey and Syria hit by second earthquake
Registered at a magnitude of around 7.7 on the Richter scale, centred approximately 67km northeast of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey
The quake had a depth of approximately 2km, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), and struck at around 2pm local time. Like the first – which occurred in the early hours of this morning – the second quake has also caused significant damage across the border in Syria.
The combined death toll from the two earthquakes in Syria and Turkey has now surpassed 2,000 – with the total rising rapidly. Rescue attempts following the first earthquake have been hampered by weather, including low temperatures and bouts of rain and sleet.
“Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts, although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night make things more difficult,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We do not know how high the casualty numbers will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake zone.” He added that the disaster was Turkey’s worst since 1939, and that over 45 nations had offered assistance so far.
The International Rescue Committee non-government organisation called it a ‘crisis within multiple crises’, particularly for Syrians.
They continued: “This earthquake is yet another devastating blow to so many vulnerable populations already struggling after years of conflict. Women and children will find themselves particularly at risk of exploitation and abuse should they find themselves once again displaced. Many in northwest Syria have been displaced up to 20 times and with health facilities strained beyond capacity, even before this tragedy many did not have access to the healthcare they critically need.”