Over 600 die as strong earthquake rocks Turkey, Syria
Ankara: At least 284 people died as a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit Turkey's Gaziantep city region and caused severe damage in neighbouring Syria as well.
Officials told Daily Sabah 284 people were killed and 2,323 injured in the provinces of Malatya, Şanlıurfa, Osmaniye and Diyarbakır, although the toll threatened to climb much higher because of the heavy damage.
Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the 7.4 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 a.m. (1:17 a.m. GMT) and was centered in the Pazarcık district, the newspaper reported.
The historic fortress of Gaziantep, located in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep, collapsed on Monday as a result of an earthquake, Turkish newspaper Posta reported.
Gaziantep Castle was first built as a watchtower in the Roman period in II-IV centuries A.D.
Later, it was expanded and took the current circle form in the VI century A.D (527-565 A.D) during the period of Byzantine Emperor Justinianus.
The castle consists of 12 towers, while its circumference reaches 1200 meters (3,937 feet).
The earthquake wreaked equal havoc in Syria where at least 386 people have died so far.
According to media reports, Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus are badly hit regions in the country.
Rescue operations are currently going on in both nations.
India to send assistance:
In light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions to offer all possible assistance to cope with the earthquake in Turkey, Dr. P. K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister held a meeting in South Block to discuss immediate relief measures, read a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
It was decided that Search & Rescue Teams of NDRF and Medical Teams along with relief material would be dispatched immediately in coordination with the Government of Republic of Turkey.
Two teams of NDRF comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment are ready to be flown to the earthquake hit area for search & rescue operations, read the statement.
Medical Teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines.
Relief material will be dispatched in coordination with the Government of Republic of Türkiye and Indian Embassy in Ankara and Consulate General office in Istanbul.