Death toll climbs to 99 in Syria after 7.8-magnitude earthquake
The death toll in Syria from Monday’s quake climbed to 99, according to Syrian state media citing the Health Ministry.
In addition, at least 334 people were injured in Syria. Earlier, 20 people were reported killed in certain areas of the country.
Rescuers have been rushing to at dawn.
AFP correspondents in northern Syria said terrified residents ran out of their homes after the ground shook.
SANA had reported earlier that the earthquake was felt from the western coast of Latakia to Damascus.
“This earthquake is the strongest since the National Earthquake Centre was founded in 1995,” Raed Ahmed, who heads the centre, told SANA.
In the neighbouring rebel-held Idlib region bordering Turkey, civil defence said there were “dozens of victims and hundreds of people injured and stuck under the rubble”.
“Our teams are in a state of emergency to rescue survivors,” the White Helmets rescue group said on Twitter.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey on Monday at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometres (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
The tremors were felt in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus, according to AFP correspondents.