The death toll in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 2,000 following a devastating
earthquake on Monday.
Buildings collapsed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck neighboring Turkey, state
media and rescuers said.
Residents of some of the cities hit by today’s earthquakes have described the shock
and fear of experiencing two such large tremors in quick succession.
Tulin Akkaya, who lives in Diyarbakir, around 180 miles east of where the quakes
struck, said she was still trying to gather herself after the first quake when the second
“I am so scared. I felt [it] so strongly because I live on the top floor,” she told the AFP
“We rushed outside in panic. I can’t go back to my apartment now – I don’t know what
will happen next.”
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The epicentre of the first quake, which had a strength of 7.8, was near the city of
Gaziantep, while that of the second, which measured 7.5, was around 80 miles north,
in the Kahramanmaras province.
Melisa Salman, who is based in Kahramanmaras, said living in an earthquake zone
meant she was used to “being shaken”, but that today was “the first time we have ever
experienced anything like that”.
“We thought it was the apocalypse,” she said.
Halis Aktemur, another Diyarbakir resident, was among the first to arrive on the
scene after the collapse of the first large building in the city, and joined others
helping to dig survivors from the rubble.
“We managed [to] save three people, but two were dead,” he said. “After the second
quake, I can’t go anywhere. I am thinking they will need my help again.”