A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Gazientip, Turkey in the early hours of Monday morning.
Rescue work was in full swing when another tremor hit at 13:30 local time. With officials already saying it was “not an aftershock”, it is believed that more than 2,300 people have died. That number keeps rising.
Turkey’s disaster agency said that around 1,500 people were killed in that country alone after the first quake. It left 5,300 people wounded.
Meanwhile in Syria, authorities there have reported 810 dead and more than 2,000 people injured.
Although Turkey and Syria were hit the hardest, the earthquake could be felt in Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel as well.
Several world leaders have pledged their help to send aid including Joe Biden from the United States and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.
BBC reports that Biden said in a tweet that he is deeply saddened by the loss of life there and pledged to provide assistance to support the rescue effort.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria. I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye and provide any and all needed assistance.”
The BBC further reports that Zelensky has also offered his condolences to Turkey’s President Erdogan and to the victims’ families.
Image credit: The New York Times