The death toll is climbing to over 2,100 as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake reportedly struck Turkey and Syria Monday morning. According to The Wall Street Journal, the massive earthquake was followed by a second one just hours later.
The death toll from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria has risen to more than 2,300 across both countries, authorities said https://t.co/NyETuwG08l
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 6, 2023
The 7.8 Earthquake Struck The Countries Monday Morning
According to the outlet, the first earthquake struck the countries around 4:17 a.m. It reportedly occurred during the middle of a winter storm. And authorities reported 900 people had been killed, 5,400 people were wounded, and over 2,000 buildings had collapsed.
In addition, search teams rescued over 2,500 people from the debris.
Then, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck the region in the afternoon. Authorities have now called the catastrophe “Turkey’s worst seismic event in decades.”
The 7.8-magnitude quake was felt across four countries with multiple aftershocks, rocking an area that houses millions of Turkish citizens, displaced Syrians and refugees, in Turkey’s worst seismic event in decades. https://t.co/CEhrQDDCao via @WSJ
— Gráinne McCarthy (@grainnemcc) February 6, 2023
Citizens Were Frantically Awakened From Their Beds Upon Feeling The Onset Of The Earthquake
The outlet shared that citizens of the country frantically awoke to the earthquake rattling everything around them. Many people reportedly ran into the streets as “buildings collapsed around them” and “sirens blared.”
One man shared his experience with reporters.
The house shook like a baby’s cradle. It was like a nightmare. I woke up the kids. I told them to stay calm. We left the building. Everyone was shouting, crying in panic.
As the day progressed, citizens opted to stay in their cars — fearful that if they returned to their homes, the buildings would unexpectedly collapse.
Yakzan Shishakly, the co-founder of a Syrian relief organization, further explained the people’s fear.
People were just running away. They don’t know where but they were just running outside.
Syria’s White Helmets Have Declared A State Of Emergency
As rescue efforts are underway, Syria’s White Helmets have declared the country in a state of emergency. The group is a volunteer agency, “officially known as Syria Civil Defence,” that reportedly “operates in parts of opposition-controlled Syria and in Turkey.”
One English teacher shared the efforts of volunteers striving to save lives.
People are working with their bare hands. No equipment, just trying to get people from under the rubble. Some people are taken out alive. Some people are taken out dead. Some of them are still there.
Death toll from #earthquake in NW #Syria now at 221+ with 419+ injured. Difficulty in rescue efforts as hundreds remain trapped under rubble & heavy equipment needed. Number expected to rise as hundreds of families still trapped. pic.twitter.com/Tt433BrzP6
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 6, 2023
Recovery efforts have been made more challenging due to the harsh winter weather but one citizen says that “everyone is working with their hearts and souls in it.”
The fact that it’s winter, the weather is cold and that the earthquake happened in the middle of the night makes the work harder but everyone is working with their hearts and souls in it.
The Countries’ Call For International Assistance
According to The Wall Street Journal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the nation and its current death toll.
At the moment, we don’t know how high the dead and wounded numbers will rise.
Turkey’s interior minister Suleyman Soylu has also declared the country to be in a state of emergency, which now requires a helping hand from other nations.
According to the outlet, President Biden intends to provide “any and all needed assistance” from the U.S. France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, have also offered their aid as well.
Terrifying jolts of 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Turkey pic.twitter.com/nRTpAQVLFA
— Sultan Khan Yousufzai (@Sultank52140629) February 6, 2023