Turkey hit by a new deadly earthquake, tremor traps people under the rubble

By Rek Hanibal Published on February 21, 2023
Turkey hit by a new deadly earthquake, tremor traps people under the rubble

A 6.4 magnitude tremor struck Antakya near the border with Syria, where massive quakes devastated both countries on 6 February. 

The earlier quakes killed 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria, with tens of thousands more homeless.

Buildings weakened by those tremors collapsed in both countries on Monday. 

Turkey's disaster and emergency agency says the 6.4 earthquakes occurred at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).

This was followed by a 5.8 aftershock three minutes later and dozens of subsequent aftershocks that were less severe.

The health minister, Dr Fahrettin Koca, said 294 people had been injured - 18 of them seriously. 

The death toll has been relatively low this time because the earthquake struck in an area that was largely emthe 6 February quake badly hit it. 

Reports from the city of Antakya spoke of fear and panic in the streets as ambulances and rescue crews tried to reach the worst affected areas where the walls of badly damaged buildings had collapsed. 

"I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet," local resident Muna al-Omar told Reuters news agency, crying as she held her seven-year-old son. She had been in a tent in a park in the city centre when the new earthquakes hit.

Ali Mazlum, 18, told AFP news agency he had been looking for the bodies of family members from the previous earthquakes when the latest tremors hit. 

"You don't know what to do... we grabbed each other and right in front of us, the walls started to fall," he said. 

In a visit to the southern province of Osmaniye, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan promised to hold to account anyone responsible for shoddy construction that led to deaths in the initial earthquake a fortnight ago. 

"It is our duty to hold the wrongdoers accountable before the law," he said.

Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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