Where did the earthquake hit Turkey and Syria? What you need to know

Where did the earthquake hit Turkey and Syria? What you need to know

Follow the latest on the earthquake in Turkey

Hundreds are dead after a huge earthquake struck Turkey and Syria overnight. Rescue teams are battling bad weather to save lives.

Here’s what you need to know.

When and where did the earthquake occur?

The epicentre was just north of Turkey’s border region of Gaziantep, in the province of Kahramanmaras, but eight provinces have been affected. The ripples tipped across the border into north-west Syria. The earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday morning and has killed more than 500 people.

The tremor lasted about a minute, destroying hundreds of buildings occupied by sleeping residents.

The US Geological Survey, which tracks seismic activity around the world, said the earthquake struck at a depth of 17.9 kilometres at a junction between the Anatolia, Arabia, and Africa tectonic plates.

In Syria, where large swathes of cities have been destroyed by 12 years of bombardment in a drawn-out war, many buildings are structurally unsound. The area where the quake struck is also in the hands of rival militia groups, preventing a co-ordinated response.

In a part of the Aleppo countryside controlled by rebel groups, members of the Syrian civil defence known as the White Helmets are working to free those beneath the rubble. The group said stormy weather was affecting the pace and safety of rescue efforts.

State television showed footage of rescue teams in heavy rain and sleet searching for survivors. Health officials advised people to stay outside and were asking the public to help take injured people to emergency rooms.

The death toll in both Syria and Turkey is in the hundreds as rescue teams scramble to save those trapped under the rubble of fallen buildings

Where else was the Turkey earthquake felt?

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus. In Beirut, two-and-a-half years ago the site of a chemical explosion which rocked the city, the shaking of windows and walls sparked fear of another tragedy unfolding.

In Iraq’s northern Duhok region, residents felt the quake so strongly they rushed outside to safety.

Is there a risk of aftershocks?

Aftershocks have already been felt, and geological survey agencies said more could occur.

Eleven minutes after the initial earthquake, an aftershock of magnitude 6.7 followed, the US Geological Survey said. The magnitude of the aftershocks is more severe than many of the region’s worst quakes.

When was the area’s last big earthquake?

Turkey is no stranger to earthquakes. The last large tremor in the area occurred on January 24, 2020 in Elazığ. The 6.8 magnitude quake produced hundreds of aftershocks, interfering with rescue efforts, and

More than 17,000 people were killed in 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude quake struck Izmit, a city south-east of Istanbul. In 2011, a quake in the eastern city of Van killed more than 500 people.

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