Turkey: A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hits near Gaziantep | Turkey
A strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey early on Monday and was felt across the border in Lebanon and Syria.
The quake struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT). It was centered about 32 km (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital in the southeast of the country.
The earthquake struck about 26 km (16 miles) from the city of Nurdağı. It was 17.7 km (11 miles) deep, according to the US Geological Survey. A strong 6.7 tremor rumbled about 10 minutes later.
The southern region of Gaziantep – one of Turkey’s main industrial and manufacturing centers – borders Syria. Tremors were reported in Lebanon, Greece, Syria, Israel and Cyprus.
The Turkish authorities have so far reported no deaths or injuries, but videos posted on social networks showed destroyed buildings in several cities in the south-east of the country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tweeted his “best wishes” to citizens affected by the earthquake which was “felt in many parts of our country”.
“Our search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the affected areas,” he wrote.
Turkey is in one of the most active seismic zones in the world.
Düzce was one of the regions hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in 1999, the worst to hit Turkey in decades. This earthquake killed more than 17,000 people, including about 1,000 in Istanbul.
Experts have long warned that a large earthquake could devastate Istanbul, leading to widespread construction without safety precautions.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Elazığ in January 2020, killing over 40 people. And in October of the same year, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the Aegean Sea, killing 114 people and injuring more than 1,000.
Agence France-Presse and Associated Press contributed to this report