According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, a magnitude 7.9 quake struck the Pazarcik district of southern Kahramanmaras province at 4.17am (1.17am GMT). A magnitude 6.4 quake also hit southern Gaziantep province at 4.26am (1.26am GMT).
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the quakes caused casualties in at least 10 provinces.In the southern Osmaniye province, Governor Erdinc Yilmaz said that 34 buildings were destroyed.
Major Turkish city Gaziantep has the highest death toll of any area so far, with 80 confirmed casualties. Gaziantep is located about 90km from the Syrian border.
European leaders are already promising to help the worst hit regions in any way they can, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He tweeted: “My thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria this morning, particularly with those first responders working so valitanty to save those trapped by the earthquake.
“The UK stands ready to help in whatever way we can.”
Turkey and Syria Earthquake - What we know so far
The powerful earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border. Statements released by officials in Turkey and Syria put the death toll at more than 1,200, but that is likely to rise.
Rescuers are currently working in both countries to save people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings. Most people were asleep while the earthquake hit, with aftershocks being felt in the hours since.
Turkey has declared a state of emergency in affected areas and has urged people not to use their mobile phones in order to allow rescuers to coordinate. As well as Turkey and Syria, millions of people in Cyprus, and Israel also felt the earthquake.