One of the most violent earthquakes in at least a century has left more than 3,800 people dead in Turkey and Syria, with thousands injured and an undetermined number trapped beneath rubble.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which struck in the early hours of the morning, was followed by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake on Monday, as rescuers in both countries were still searching for survivors. Entire apartment complexes were obliterated in Turkey, while Syrian communities already pummeled by over a decade by war suffered further devastation.
Minor effects from the quake were felt as far away as Lebanon, Greece, Israel, Iraq, and Cyprus.
A total of 2,379 deaths had been recorded in Turkey by early evening, according to the country’s emergency services, with more than 14,483 people were reported injured. Nearly 15,000 search and rescue professionals have been dispatched to the region, according to Yunus Sezer, the director of the Turkish disaster relief agency AFAD.
The death toll had reached 1,444 in Syria, according to data from the government in Damascus and rescue workers in the rebel-held northwestern province.
The death toll of 3,823 across the two countries is anticipated to grow higher with a the scale of the rescue efforts meaning further casualties are likely to be discovered for days to come.
Turkey is located in one of the most active earthquake zones in the world, with territory extending across the Anatolian faultline in the country’s north, which has triggered big and deadly earthquakes.