A major catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Turkey and Syria a few hours ago leaving at least 1000 people dead and several thousands injured. The death toll is still mounting. People are being pulled out from under dozens of buildings which collapsed in the temblor. The death toll is more in Syria.
One of the largest to strike Turkey in at least a century wiped out entire sections of major cities in a region filled with millions of people who have fled the civil war in Syria and other conflicts.
The head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, Raed Ahmed, told pro-government radio that this was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”.
Earlier, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted his concern for Turkey after the earthquake, saying “India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey and is ready to offer all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy.”
PM Modi ordered NDRF search, rescue and medical teams to be rushed to the country along with relief materials.
The earthquake’s epicenter was 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.