The south-eastern region of Turkey and the West side of Syria was hit by a deadly earthquake on Sunday night (Monday, 01:17 GMT). The earthquake has taken hundreds of lives so far with the deaths still counting. According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria was of magnitude 7.8, which falls under the category of a major earthquake with serious damage. The Officials from both countries have confirmed the death count to be above 100 in their early reports. The death count is likely to grow more as rescue teams are clearing the debris. It was announced by Suleymon Soylu, the Turkish Interior Minister, ten cities were affected in South-eastern Turkey including, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir, and Kilis. These cities have a massive population with major infrastructure developments. Because of this, the officials have expressed fears of a higher death toll. In Malatya alone, the early local reports reported over 23 deaths. In Syria, the earthquake affected the west coast that spans from Latakia to Damascus, the Syrian capital. A higher number of deaths were reported in Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia in Syria.
Turkey is located in an earthquake zone which is one of the most active zones across the globe. There have been many recorded incidents of earthquakes in Turkey. In 1999, Turkey suffered from the most deadly earthquake which killed over 17,000 people. During this incident, the Northwestern region of the country was hit. This is documented as the Izmit earthquake, which struck the Kocaeli Province in Turkey. In Turkey, due to its placement in the earthquake zone, almost all regions in the country have higher seismic hazards. Recently recorded events of the earthquake involve November 23, 2022, which struck Düzce, Turkey. This earthquake was of magnitude 6.1 and killed 2 people. Before this, on October 30, 2020, the Greek island of Samos was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.0, which killed over 115 people.
The earthquake which struck Turkey on Sunday night or Early Monday morning was a major one. This is because, along with affecting Turkey and Syria, the shockwaves of the earthquake were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus. As of current reports, the death toll has already crossed the mark of 300 deaths. Many locals called it the worst earthquake to hit the region in the past 40 years. Many watched their homes getting demolished into nothing but meaningless rumble. As the earthquake hit after midnight, many were in deep sleep. Because of this, many struggled to come to their senses quickly enough to escape from their home and go to a safe place. Officials believe that because of this, the death counts are expected to be higher than in previous earthquakes. Late-night incidents also caused difficulties for locals and rescue teams as they struggled to get a thorough analysis of the rubble. People had nothing to do but wait till sunrise to realize the actual damage. Totaling the deaths from Turkey and Syria, the death toll has already crossed the mark of 500 deaths, with many people still missing in the massive pile of rubble.