A recent earthquake has struck the Turkish-Syrian border area, adding to the destruction caused by the powerful earthquakes that hit southern Turkey just two weeks ago.
This latest earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and has caused fresh damage to buildings in Antakya, the capital of Turkey’s Hatay province, according to eyewitnesses.
The epicenter of the quake was located 14 kilometers southwest of Antakya and had a depth of approximately 10 kilometers, as reported by the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). Reports from journalists on the ground suggest that the quake has caused panic in Antakya, which has a population of over 200,000. Rescue workers are rushing through the clouds of dust to search for any injured individuals.
Social media has been abuzz with images of collapsed buildings, including those in the nearby city of Samandag. Pictures of the devastation at Hatay airport have also been shared widely on social media platforms.
The residents of the affected regions are struggling to cope with yet another disaster, and the authorities are mobilizing resources to provide assistance and aid to those in need. The earthquake has once again reminded us of the fragility of life and the importance of preparedness in the face of natural disasters.
Hatay airport pic.twitter.com/VTRygEe10k
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) February 20, 2023
According to the mayor of Samandag, a woman has died and at least four people are still under the rubble. He says he quickly needs tents to accommodate people. Vice President Fuat Oktay reports that a total of eight injured people have been taken to hospital so far.
According to local media, power outages were reported in some cities following the recent earthquakes. Moreover, as a precautionary measure, a section of the hospital in Iskenderun was evacuated. The authorities have confirmed that Adana, located about 100 kilometers away, was not affected by the earthquakes.
The tremors were felt in neighboring countries such as Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon, according to eyewitness accounts cited by Reuters news agency. The Turkish emergency service AFAD reported several strong aftershocks in Hatay, with the most potent registering a magnitude of 5.8. Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted urging citizens in the affected areas to avoid damaged buildings and to follow the instructions of the emergency response teams carefully.
Hatay has been severely impacted by the recent earthquakes, and it remains one of the worst-affected provinces. On Sunday, Turkey announced the suspension of rescue operations in all provinces except Hatay and Kahramanmaras. The earthquakes that occurred on February 6 were among the most potent, measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale. Since then, the region has been experiencing thousands of aftershocks.