JAKARTADAILY.ID - An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 shook the Diyarbakir region, southeastern Turkiye, and the northwestern region of Syria on Monday, 6 February 2023. This earthquake was also felt as far as Cyprus and Lebanon.
According to Reuters, more than 1,300 people were declared dead and thousands more were injured. Several apartments and buildings appeared to have collapsed leaving many others trapped under the rubble. The quake, which struck early in the morning in winter, was touted as the worst since 1999.
"We are shaken. There are nine of our family in the house. My two sons are still trapped in the rubble, I am waiting for them," sobbed a woman with a broken arm and injuries to her face.
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Dozens of ambulances were reported to have immediately moved to the ruins of the building to evacuate victims. Rescuers struggled with the cold winter weather by pulling victims from the rubble of buildings.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 912 people have died so far, 5,383 people have been injured and 2,818 buildings have collapsed.
But Erdoğan added that he could not predict how many died, because the rescue team was still carrying out further search efforts and looking for victims who were still trapped in the rubble.
Reuters reporters in Diyarbakir reported that dozens of rescue teams were searching for victims by hauling rubble away from buildings and cutting through barriers in their search for survivors.
Some of those trapped called for the rescue team, and some held out their hands for evacuation. A man was seen carrying his daughter using a blanket after being rescued.
"We woke up when we heard a big sound and shaking. There were two aftershocks after that," said Meryem, 29, from Kahramanmaras province, the quake's epicenter.
"I was so scared I thought it would never stop. I grabbed some gear and my one-year-old son and left the building straight away."
In the city of Malatya, a rescue worker crawled into a collapsed building to save a person trapped under the rubble, in footage published by Turkiye's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Meanwhile in Syria, the Ministry of Health said more than 326 people were killed and 1,042 injured. Meanwhile, in the northwest, areas still controlled by Syrian rebels, rescuers said 147 people had been declared dead.
The city of Aleppo, which has been ravaged by civil war for 11 years, saw an earthquake tearing down many houses and sending dust billowing into the air. The city, badly damaged by the civil war, caused buildings to collapse immediately when the earthquake hit.