Death toll crosses 2,300 as deadly earthquake wreaks havoc in Turkey, Syria


ANKARA – More than 2,300 people have been killed in one of the deadliest earthquakes that hit southeast Turkey, bordering Syria in the wee hours on Monday.

Millions were sleeping when the quake struck, while thousands trapped under the rubble, which are now shifted to the medical facilities for aid. The tremors of the massive quake were felt as far away as Lebanon and Israel, while its epicenter was some 23 kilometers east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The tremor continued for around a minute and scores of structures collapsed in no time, painting a terrific picture of the country, known for its vast tourism.

Initial reports claimed that Monday’s quake was the strongest to hit Turkey in around a century; several earthquakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck the country of over 85 million. Turkish officials claimed that over 5,000 people were wounded in the Middle Eastern nation while local officials called for international assistance.

Horrific pictures and clips doing rounds on the internet shows heart-wrenching scenes with rescue personnel taking out the dead bodies from the rubble while injured were also filmed drenching in blood.

Scores of buildings were razed while a huge part of the country suffered severe damage. Amid the worst disaster in recent times, the country’s top officials have declared an emergency in the region, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spotted at the front line.

As global condemnation poured in, the Russian President and other leaders including Pakistan offered assistance to Turkey and Syria.

Pakistan offers assistance as death toll climbs

Amid the global condemnation, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a telephonic conversation with the Turkish premier; he extended condolences to the governments of Syria and Turkey.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement after the tragic incident. It said the government and people of the South Asian nation were saddened by over loss of precious lives and extensive damage to property.

The statement further reads “The people of Pakistan stand in complete solidarity with our Turkish brethren in this hour of grief. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for early recovery of those injured”.

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