Two weeks after the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the disaster area was again hit by two powerful earthquakes. Disaster relief authority AFAD reports quakes with magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 respectively. According to the Turkish vice president, at least eight people have been injured.
The epicenter of the new earthquakes was near the town of Defne, 14 kilometers southwest of Antakya, and thus further south than the earthquakes two weeks ago.
There would be further damage to buildings in Antakya, in the previously affected province of Hatay. Buildings collapsed in Samandağ district of Hatay. The power has also gone out.
According to the local authorities, reports are also coming in that people have again ended up under the rubble. Turkey’s disaster relief authority is calling on people not to enter the damaged buildings.
Eyewitnesses in Syria tell NOS that buildings have collapsed in the northwest of the country. When the quakes started, people would have jumped out of the window in fear.
These are the first images of the earthquake:
The latest earthquake caused a lot of panic and confusion, says a TRT reporter who wanted to report live in Kahramanmaras just at the time of the quake.
That confusion is because there have been thousands of aftershocks since the previous quakes. “You feel quite a lot of aftershocks here, but obviously not on the scale we’re seeing now.” The reporter says he saw people running out in panic.
VPRO presenter Bram Vermeulen could feel the tremors in Adana. “Two hours ago my hotel started shaking violently for twenty seconds,” says Vermeulen. “People ran out in panic and started screaming. The stress of the past two weeks is still in everyone’s body.”
According to Vermeulen, the number of casualties seems to be not too bad: “This is because people have been living on the streets or in tent camps since the earlier quakes, and not in the buildings that have already been heavily damaged.”
NRC journalist Toon Beemsterboer was also in Adana at the time of the quake, he told NPO Radio 1. “The shaking lasted quite a long time and the kitchen cabinets opened and closed,” he says. After the quake, he ran into the street with his in-laws. “The whole city is basically on the street now.”
President Erdogan was visiting the affected province today, but it is not clear whether he was still there at the time of the earthquake. The new earthquake seems to be along the same fault line as the one two weeks ago, says the NRC journalist.
The strong earthquakes two weeks ago killed more than 45,000 people. The death toll continues to rise as many of the victims are still buried under the rubble.
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