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At least 15 dead in Turkey quake: local officials

Updated on: 06 February,2023 09:04 AM IST  |  Istanbul

Governor Erdinc Yilmaz also said that 34 buildings were destroyed in the province

At least 15 dead in Turkey quake: local officials

In this video grab from AFP TV taken on February 6, 2023, rescuers search for victims of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, levelling buildings across several cities and causing damages in neighbouring Syria pic/AFP

At least 15 people died in a major 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey on Monday, local officials said, although the toll threatened to climb much higher because many buildings were destroyed.

Locals officials said five people died in the province of Osmaniye and 10 more in Sanliurfa, which sits near Turkey's border with Syria.

Governor Erdinc Yilmaz also said that 34 buildings were destroyed in the province.

A major 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, levelling buildings across several cities and causing damage in neighbouring Syria.

The quake struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles), the US agency said, with a 6.7-magnitude aftershock striking 15 minutes later.

Turkey's AFAD emergencies service centre put the first quake's magnitude at 7.4.

Also Read: Earthquake of 7.8 magnitude shakes central Turkey

Turkish officials reported no immediate casualty figures, but the first images showed crumbled buildings and fires across several cities.

Images on Turkish television and social media showed rescuers digging through the rubble of levelled buildings in the city of Kahramanmaras and neighbouring Gaziantep.

"I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted.

"We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage."

The earthquake's timing meant that most people were still sleeping at home, raising the potential toll.

Some images showed shocked people standing in the snow in their pajamas, watching rescuers dig through the debris of damaged homes.

NTV television said buildings also crumbed in the cities of Adiyaman and Malatya.

A fire lit up the night sky in one image from Kahramanmaras, although its origin remained unclear.

CNN Turk television said the quake was also felt across parts of central Turkey and the capital Ankara.

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