Video shows building collapse in Turkey in deadly 7.8 earthquake
Heartbreaking footage emerged early Monday showing an apartment building in Turkey collapsing into a heap of rubble, sending terrified people running for their lives, as a monster 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Turkey and northwestern Syria.
More than 1,700 people have been killed and thousands injured in the natural disaster that has destroyed apartment buildings in Turkey and devastated towns in Syria already badly damaged by years of war.
Dramatic footage recorded during the day in the city of Sanliurfa in southeastern Turkey shows a seven-storey building collapsing following the powerful tremors.
In the recording, curious onlookers first watch the red and yellow building as it begins to shake. Moments later, the entire building collapses, sending debris and thick clouds of dust onto the street, and prompting passers-by to flee on foot, in cars or on scooters.
The earthquake, the worst to hit Turkey this century, shook parts of the country in the early morning local time and was felt as far away as Cyprus and Lebanon. It was followed by another tremor of magnitude 7.7 in the afternoon.
It was not immediately clear how much damage was caused by the second quake, which was also felt across the region as rescuers struggled to pull victims from the rubble in freezing weather.
“We were shaken like a cradle. We were nine at home. Two of my sons are still in the rubble, I’m waiting for them,’ said a woman with a broken arm and facial injuries, speaking into an ambulance near the wreckage of a seven-story building where she had lived in Diyarbakir. in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey’s death toll has reached at least 1,014, with some 2,824 buildings destroyed, the head of the disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD), Yunus Sezer, said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned it expects a significant rise in the death toll given the high number of apartment buildings that have collapsed.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he could not predict how much the death toll would rise as search and rescue efforts continued.
“Everyone puts their heart and soul into their efforts, although the winter season, the cold weather and the earthquake that occurs during the night make things more difficult,” he said.
Erdogan added that 45 countries had already offered help to save lives, including Germany, Israel, war-torn Ukraine and Russia.
The United States was “deeply concerned” about the quake and was monitoring events closely, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Twitter. “We are ready to provide all necessary assistance,” he said.
In Syria, already devastated by more than 11 years of civil war, the health ministry said more than 430 people had been killed and 1,042 injured. In the Syrian rebel-held northwest, rescuers said 255 people had died.
In the rebel-held town of Azaz, video recorded by Reuters showed a rescuer carrying a toddler in bloodstained clothes from the rubble of a building.
In Diyarbakir, Reuters reporters saw dozens of rescue workers rummaging through a mound of debris, what was left of a large building, carrying away pieces of wreckage as they searched for survivors. Sometimes they raised their hands and called for silence, listening to the sounds of life.
Men carried a girl wrapped in blankets from a collapsed building in the city.
“We woke up with a loud noise and strong shaking. There were two aftershocks right after,” said Meryem, 29, from the town of Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey, near the epicenter.
“I was so scared, I thought it would never end. I took things for my one-year-old son and left the building.
Footage posted on Twitter showed two nearby buildings collapsing one after another in Aleppo, Syria, filling the street with dust. Two residents of the town, which was heavily damaged during the war, said buildings had fallen within hours of the quake.
In the Syrian rebel-held town of Jandaris in Aleppo province, a mound of concrete, steel rods and bundles of clothes lay where a multi-storey building once stood.
“There were 12 families down there. Not a single one came out. Not one,” said a thin young man, his eyes wide in shock and his hand bandaged.
Photos taken in Jandaris showed a bloodied man and a young girl being carried to safety by good Samaritans.
Raed Fares of the Syrian White Helmets, a rescue service known for extracting people from the ruins of buildings destroyed by airstrikes in rebel-held territory, said they were in “a race against time to save the life of those who were under the rubble”. .”
Abdul Salam al Mahmoud, a Syrian from the town of Atareb, said it felt like “the apocalypse”.
Syrian state television broadcast images of rescue teams searching for survivors in heavy rain and sleet. President Bashar al-Assad held an emergency cabinet meeting to review the damage and discuss next steps, his office said.
Israel said it had received a Syrian request for earthquake assistance and was ready to help, in what would be rare cooperation between enemy neighbors.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech that he had ordered Israeli aid to be sent to Turkey, and that “since a request has also been received to do so for many victims of the earthquake in Syria, I asked to do it too”.
Residents of Damascus and the Lebanese cities of Beirut and Tripoli rushed to the streets and drove away from their buildings for fear of collapses, witnesses said.
Footage shown on broadcaster CNNTurk showed the historic Gaziantep Castle had been badly damaged.
It was Turkey’s most severe quake since 1999, when an earthquake of similar magnitude devastated Izmit and the heavily populated eastern Sea of Marmara region near Istanbul. killing more than 17,000 people.
With post wires