Turkiye, Syria Jolted Again By Two Powerful Earthquakes

Turkiye, Syria Jolted Again By Two Powerful Earthquakes

Two new powerful earthquakes jolted Turkiye and Syria, both countries still reeling from devastating earthquakes on February 6 that killed at least 47,000 people.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the Turkiye-Syria border region at a depth of just 2km (1.2 miles), the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.

At least three people have been killed, and 213 have been wounded in the tremors, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

The shallow aftershock was followed by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake several minutes later, centred not far from the first in Turkiye’s Hatay region.

Rescuers are once again searching for people trapped under rubble in Turkiye.

The earlier quakes killed 47,000 people in Turkiye and Syria with tens of thousands more left homeless. Buildings weakened by those tremors collapsed in both countries on Monday.

Turkiye's disaster and emergency agency says the 6.4 tremors occurred at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT), followed by the 5.8 quake three minutes later.

The three deaths occurred in Antakya, Defne, and Samandag, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, urging people not to enter potentially dangerous buildings. Soylu said 213 other people had also been injured.

Reports from the city of Antakya spoke of fear and panic in the streets as ambulances and rescue crews tried to reach the worst affected areas, where the walls of badly damaged buildings had collapsed.

"I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet," local resident Muna al-Omar told Reuters news agency, crying as she held her seven-year-old son. She had been in a tent in a park in the city centre when the new earthquakes hit.

In Syria, some 470 injured people are said to have visited hospitals after Monday's quakes, which were also reportedly felt in Egypt and Lebanon.

On the other hand, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkiye will build almost 200,000 new homes in the country’s southeastern region.

He promised reconstruction work would begin in March to build 199,739 homes in the affected provinces.

"None of these buildings will be more than three or four storeys high," he promised after the earthquakes caused several high-rise blocks of flats to collapse.