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6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Kills 8 and Traps Hundreds Under Rubble in Hatay, Turkey

A 6.4 Magnitude earthquake once again struck in Hatay province, south-east Turkey, adjacent to the border with Syria as rescuers scrambled to search for more people trapped underneath the rubble on Monday, February 20, 2023.

Tremors of 6.4 and 5.8 were heavily felt through Turkey and Syria, both of which are still reeling from a previous devastating earthquake just two weeks ago that killed over 47,000 people and left over a million homeless. The economic cost of the disaster is expected to skyrocket to tens of billions of dollars. 

The deaths occurred in the province of Hatay, in the cities of Antakya, Defne and Samandag, as reported by the country’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who urged people to not enter the potentially dangerous buildings. Local authorities also  confirmed that 8 people have been killed and 300 people are injured, many critically.

Fear and panic spread through the streets of Turkey on Monday night as ambulances and rescue crews rushed to reach the most affected areas.

“I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet,” local resident Muna al-Omar told Reuters news agency, crying as she held her seven-year-old son. She had been in a tent in a park in the city center when the new earthquakes hit.

The tremors on Monday night were felt through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt according to  Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

Syria’s state news agency SANA confirmed the injuries of 6 people in Aleppo from collapsing debris. The mayor of Hatay further stated that a number of buildings collapsed, trapping people inside. 

According to Al Jazeera, AFAD had warned the residents of Hayaty Province, to maintain a distance from the coast in the fear of the earthquakes triggering the sea levels which seem could rise by 50 cm. 

Mehmet Kokum, an assistant professor of geology based in Elazig, Turkey said that at least 5000 aftershocks were recorded following the earthquakes that tore through the two countries. Al Jazeera further reported Kokum’s statement ‘’We know from our experience, the aftershocks will last from months to years. But it’s going to decrease day by day.”

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  • Zamena Manekia Manji

    Zamena Manekia Manji is a breaking news writer for TMJ News with experience of over 10 years in the field. Her areas of focus are important breaking stories in North America specifically untold stories from a minority lens.

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