A major earthquake has struck central Turkey, near the city of Gaziantep not far from the border with Syria. Both countries have been greatly affected by the seismic event which had a magnitude of 7.8 with the death toll over 2,000 and still rising.
The event struck at 4:17 am local time and was followed 11 minutes later by a 6.7 aftershock. A second earthquake measuring 7.6 in magnitude hit less than 12 hours later. Thousands are reported injured, over 4,800 people have been confirmed dead and emergency services have been working non-stop to reach the still many people trapped within fallen buildings. It is feared that the final death toll might be in the thousands.
The second quake was 67 kilometers (42 miles) northeast of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, at a depth of 2 kilometers according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.
The first quake was felt throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, with people in cities across Lebanon reported having fled their buildings for fear of collapse. A tsunami warning was sent out across the Mediterranean. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the quake took place 17.9 kilometers (11 miles) deep.
The area is geologically active, being in the vicinity of a triple junction between the Anatolia, Arabia, and Africa tectonic plates. While quakes are common, only three quakes with a magnitude larger than 6 have occurred within 250 kilometers (155 miles) of Gaziantep since 1970. The last and largest was a magnitude 6.7 and it happened on January 24, 2020.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated when new information is available.