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Turkey updates earthquake toll to 2,379 dead and 14,483 injured

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The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has said the death toll from the earthquake in the country has risen to 2,379, as the number of injured also increased to 14,483.

This was stated by the agency director of earthquake and risk reduction, Orhan Tatar. 

Earlier, authorities reported 1,762 fatalities and over 12,000 injuries.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that the death toll in the early Monday morning earthquake that struck southern Türkiye and neighbouring Syria which caused significant destruction across the countries have risen to over 1000.

Several buildings collapsed and infrastructure worth millions or billions of dollars have reportedly been damaged on both sides of the border. 

The powerful earthquake has been described as the worst in decades.

Sequence of action as reported by RT shows that the quake was detected at 4:17am (0117 GMT), according to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

It was centred in the Pazarcik district in the southern province of Kahramanmaras at a depth of 7 kilometres.

A Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu, is amongst the victims reportedly trapped under rubble after a huge earthquake that hit Turkey in the early hours of Monday, according to reports.  

In the Same Vein ,The death toll from a strong earthquake in south-eastern Turkey, near Syria's border, could rise eight-fold, the World Health Organisation has warned.  The toll, which currently stands at more than 2,379 people, has increased rapidly since the first earthquake struck early on Monday morning.


About 12 hours later, a second powerful tremor hit further north.

Rescuers have been combing through mountains of rubble in freezing and snowy conditions to find survivors.

Countries around the world are sending support to help the rescue efforts, including specialist teams, sniffer dogs and equipment.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep. 

Seismologists said the first quake was one of the largest ever recorded in Turkey. Survivors said it took two minutes for the shaking to stop.

The second quake had a magnitude of 7.5, and its epicentre was in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province. 

An official from Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said it was independent of the earlier tremor and not an aftershock - although many of those are still being felt on the ground.

The death toll in Turkey has exceeded 1,760, while some 1,000 are confirmed to have died in Syria.

The WHO has warned that those numbers are likely to increase as much as eight times, as rescuers find more victims in the rubble.

"We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows," the WHO's senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, told AFP.

Ms Smallwood added that the snowy conditions will leave many people without shelter, adding to the dangers. 

Many thousands of people have been injured - with at least 9,700 people hurt in Turkey and 2,000 in Syria. Those numbers have also been steadily rising.

Many of the victims are in war-torn northern Syria, where millions of refugees live in camps on both sides of the border with Turkey. There have been dozens of fatalities reported in rebel-held areas.

Thousands of buildings across both the countries have collapsed, and several videos show the moment they fell, as onlookers ran for cover. Many buildings that were as large as 12 storeys high are now flattened, roads have been destroyed and there are huge mountains of rubble as far as the eye can see.

Turkey's energy infrastructure has also been damaged, and videos have emerged showing large fires in southern Turkey. Social media users claimed they were caused by damage to gas pipelines. 

Turkey's energy minister Fatih Donmez confirmed there had been serious damage to the infrastructure, but did not mention the explosions.

Turkey lies in one of the world's most active earthquake zones. 

In 1999 a deadly quake killed more than 17,000 in the north-west. The country's worst earthquake disaster was in 1939 when 33,000 people died in Turkey's eastern Erzincan province.

One Kahramanmaras resident, Melisa Salman, said living in an earthquake zone meant she was used to "being shaken", but Monday's tremor was "the first time we have ever experienced anything like that".

"We thought it was the apocalypse," she said.

UN Secretary General António Guterres has called for an international response to the crisis, saying that many of the families hit by the disaster were "already in dire need of humanitarian aid in areas where access is a challenge". 

The European Union is sending search and rescue teams to Turkey, while rescuers from the Netherlands and Romania are already on their way. The UK has said it will send 76 specialists, equipment and rescue dogs.

France, Germany, Israel, and the US have also pledged to help. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered help to both Turkey and Syria, as has Iran.

Turkey's interior minister, Suleymon Soylu, said 10 cities were affected by the initial quake including Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis. 

School has been suspended in those cities for at least a week.

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