Turkey reports that a second massive earthquake in less than 12 hours has hit the southeast of the country. State media in Syria have also said that Damascus was affected by the latest large quake, although details remain scant.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said that preliminary data showed the quake measured 7.7 magnitude on the Richter scale, and was 67 km (42 miles) north north-east of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, at a depth of 2 km. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority stated that it was slightly smaller at 7.6 magnitude and at a greater depth.
The combined official death toll from the first quake in Turkey and Syria had already risen to over 1,200, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan describing it as the country’s largest disaster since 1939. He said that 912 people had been killed, with 5,383 wounded.
Syria’s state news agency reported more than 320 dead in the country, with over 1,000 wounded. The White Helmets rescue service has also reported that 147 people had died and more than 340 were injured in Syria in areas where it operates.
The first quake struck as people slept, and measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, one of the most powerful quakes in the region in at least a century. Search and rescue operations have been hampered by poor weather. Turkey’s president said that over 45 nations had so far offered assistance.