Harrowing Video Footage Shows Destruction Amid Turkey Earthquakes

Tens of thousands of people in Turkey and Syria were wrenched from their beds early this morning by the sound of the Earth splitting apart.

The most devastating earthquake to hit the region since 1939 erupted under their feet before dawn, wreaking a trail of utter chaos that stretched beyond 200 miles across both nations.

More than 2,600 people have already lost their lives, with thousands more trapped under the rubble of countless buildings torn down by the savage 7.8-magnitude quake.

Hours later, weakened structures that managed to withstand the initial shockwave collapsed as a second earthquake of almost equal magnitude broke out, burying yet more helpless bodies under a mass of concrete and terrorising displaced families forced to huddle together for warmth in the bitter winter air.

Shocking clips from the streets of Turkey captured the moment high-rise buildings and apartment blocks simply imploded as the Earth shifted beneath them. It’s no wonder the earthquake wrought such havoc – its shockwave carried such power that it registered on the sensors of seismologists as far north as Greenland.

But the footage is nonetheless utterly stupefying.

Citizens can be seen going about their business, walking through the streets as traffic buzzes about when suddenly they are plunged into the centre of a demolition site. Huge buildings that appeared rooted to the ground folded like a stack of cards without warning and engulfed passers-by in a cloud of toxic dust.

One man who spoke to AFP in the Syrian city of Aleppo said the terror of seeing his building collapse and crush several families who were unable to escape was unmatched even by the armed conflict that has plagued Syria for years.

Turkey’s president Erdogan said this morning that more than 2,800 buildings across the country had been brought tumbling down, but the true number is likely to be far higher.

The aftermath of the quakes left residents fortunate enough to escape with their lives in total shock.

A clip shows how dozens of people stood atop a mountain of rubble which just minutes earlier had been a multi-story apartment block, their bodies frozen in place and expressions of utter bewilderment etched across their faces. Others meanwhile scrabbled at the debris with their bare hands, risking their own lives in a desperate attempt to dig for survivors crushed beneath the rock and twisted metal that had previously constituted their home.

As government officials and aid organisations began to coordinate their response, various cranes, diggers and earth movers were deployed to remove the heaviest chunks of wreckage, allowing volunteers to let loose with their handheld shovels. But scores of terrified civilians were left simply standing in the streets, some wearing little more than nightgowns and pyjamas despite the freezing temperatures.

As night fell, hordes of ambulances and emergency vehicles descended on the scene of one collapsed building, their flashing blue lights illuminating the almost war-like backdrop and accentuating the scale of the damage.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned the true number of casualties would not be known for days, while disaster experts predicted the eventual death toll could exceed 10,000.

In the hours following the destructive tremors, harrowing footage emerged of survivors filming themselves trapped inside the wreckage, pleading on social media for help to escape.

Casualties described how their homes began to shake so violently that walls cracked and crumbled, while others said the noise was like hearing a freight train thundering right past their window.

Despite the horror, destruction and death that has befallen much of Turkey and Syria, there were a few, brief moments of hope. A series of clips, heart-wrenching and warming in equal measure, showed how brave rescuers and residents managed to pull several children out from under a collapsed structure, saving them from what looked to have been almost certain death.

Rescuers could be heard whooping in delight as they successfully extracted kids through impossibly small gaps in the debris, with many of them emerging seemingly only with minor injuries. But their joy is short-lived – many families will have lost everything they own and are now without a home amid the winter chill. Children in Syria in particular face one of the most complex humanitarian situations in the world.

A worsening economic crisis continued localised hostilities after more than a decade of grinding conflict, mass displacement and devastated public infrastructure have left two-thirds of the population in need of assistance.


The Mail

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