Earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, leaving more than 1,900 dead and thousands injured

Earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, leaving more than 1,900 dead and thousands injured

Jordan’s queen offers sympathy to neighbors as quakes rattle people awake across borders

Amman — Jordanian seismologists registered more that 110 aftershocks in the country after the two massive earthquakes hit southeast Turkey on Monday. Head of Jordan’s seismology center, Ghassan Sweidan, told local television that “the center is still recording more tremors from time to time.”

Residents of the capital Amman, some 425 miles away from the epicenter of the quakes, were woken up at 4: 17 a.m. local time by the tremors. Local media reported that part of an old building collapsed in the northern Jordanian city of Irbid, but there were no casualties reported. 

Many Jordanians took to social media to express sympathy with their neighbors. 

وحدت مشاعر الألم عالمنا اليوم، قلوبنا مع أهالي ضحايا الزلزال وصلواتنا للمصابين ومن فقدوا منازلهم

Today, our world is united in its grief. Our hearts and prayers are with all the victims, the injured, and those who lost their homes or loved ones in today’s devastating earthquakes

— Rania Al Abdullah (@QueenRania) February 6, 2023

“Our hearts and prayers are with all the victims, the injured, and those who lost their homes or loved ones in today’s devastating earthquakes,” tweeted Jordan’s Queen Rania.


Harrowing video shows TV news journalist as Turkey quake hits

 A journalist was reporting on live TV Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey when the ground began to shake under him and he was forced to flee the area. Buildings collapsed around him as he and others on the street ran for safety. Watch here:

Canlı yayında #deprem anı#Malatya’da artçı sarsıntı sırasında hasarlı binalar yıkıldı

— A Haber (@ahaber) February 6, 2023


Turkey earthquakes felt as far away as Greenland and Denmark

Officials from Greenland and Denmark said two massive earthquakes that struck Turkey on Monday registered on seismographs in both countries, as did many of their aftershocks.

“We have registered both earthquakes — and a lot of aftershocks — in Denmark and Greenland,” Tine Larsen, a seismologist from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said.

“The waves from the earthquake reached the seismograph on the Danish island of Bornholm approximately five minutes after the shaking started,” Larsen told the AFP news agency. “Eight minutes after the earthquake, the shaking reached the east coast of Greenland, propagating further through all of Greenland,” she said.


White Helmets ask international community for help

A representative from the White Helmets, a civil defense organization that works in Syria, often rescuing people from bombed-out buildings, called on the international community after Monday’s quakes “to save our people.”

“Many buildings in different cities and villages in northwestern Syria collapsed, destroyed by this earthquake. Our teams responded to all the sites and the buildings — and still now, many families are under the rubble. We are trying to save them but it’s a very hard task for us,” Ismail Al Abdullah told CBS News partner network BBC News.

Syria Earthquake
Civil defense workers and security forces search through the wreckage of collapsed buildings in Hama, Syria, Feb. 6, 2023. Omar Sanadik/AP

“We need help. We need the international community to do something, to help us, to support us. Northwestern Syria is now a disaster area. We need help from everyone to save our people.”


Second large earthquake strikes Turkey

A second large earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey on Monday, Reuters reported, citing Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). AFAD reportedly said the earthquake was magnitude 7.6 and occurred at a depth of four miles.

AFAD said the second quake struck the same region that was hit earlier on Monday by another major earthquake that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured. The epicenter of the second earthquake was the Elbistan region of Kahramanmaras Province, Reuters reported.


Region knows suffering all too well

The temblor struck a region that’s been shaped on both sides of the border by more than a decade of civil war in Syria. On the Syrian side, the swath affected is divided between government-held territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, which is surrounded by Russian-backed government forces. Turkey, meanwhile, is home to millions of refugees from that conflict.

The opposition-held regions in Syria are packed with some 4 million people displaced from other parts of the country by the fighting. Many of them live in buildings that are already wrecked from past bombardments. Hundreds of families remained trapped in rubble, the opposition emergency organization, called the White Helmets, said in a statement.


Winter adding to misery

Shocked survivors in Turkey rushed out into the snow-covered streets in their pajamas, watching rescuers dig through the debris of damaged homes with their hands.

“Seven members of my family are under the debris,” Muhittin Orakci, a stunned survivor in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, told Agence France-Presse.

“My sister and her three children are there. And also her husband, her father-in-law and her mother-in-law.”

The rescue was being hampered by a winter blizzard that covered major roads in ice and snow. Officials said the quake made three major airports in the area inoperable, further complicating deliveries of vital aid.


Death toll keeps climbing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the death toll in his nation had risen to 912.  The death toll in government-held areas of Syria climbed to 237 with more than 630 injured, according to Syrian state media. At least 120 people were killed in rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets, the emergency organization in opposition areas.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.