Massive earthquakes measuring over 7.0 on the Richter scale struck southern Turkey near the Syrian border on Monday, leaving more than 2,000 people dead.
According to reports, the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey at approximately 4 a.m. Monday morning, flattening buildings, toppling cars, filling the streets with debris, and sent tremors that were felt as far away as Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel. A second earthquake measuring 7.5 hit southeastern Turkey later in the afternoon. This was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks.
Over 968 people were reported dead in Syria following this morning’s earthquakes that hit areas divided between government-held provinces and rebel-controlled territory. At least 1,541 people have died in Turkey, with several thousand reported injured. Governor Ali Yerlikaya disclosed that nearly 1,000 search and rescue volunteers, dogs, and trucks were sent from the country’s largest city, Istanbul, to aid in the ongoing rescue effort.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), and a host of countries have offered aid, with the World Health Organization (WHO) activating its network of emergency medical teams in the two countries to assist those affected by the earthquakes.
Over the past 25 years, seven earthquakes measuring magnitude 7.0 have struck Turkey, with today’s believed to be the strongest since 1939, when a massive quake resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people.
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