Turkey earthquake death toll rises to over 4,000

PHOTO: The death toll in yesterday's earthquake in turkey has now risen to above 4,300 people. (via Al Jazeera)

As of 9am this morning, the death toll from the massive earthquakes in Turkey surpassed 4,300, with Turkish authorities reporting 2,921 fatalities and Syria reporting 1,444. Yesterday, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near the Turkey-Syria border in the province of Karamanmaras.

The number of deaths is expected to keep rising significantly as search and rescue teams continue to examine collapsed buildings

The quake was felt in several countries around the Mediterranean rim, including Cyprus and Lebanon. Later in the day, another large earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Gaziantep province in Turkey.

The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake was centred about 33 kilometres from Gaziantep, a major city, and had a depth of 18 kilometres. The disaster was felt in neighbouring provinces, as well as in Lebanon and Syria.

Buildings in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama collapsed. Meanwhile, the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense reported building collapses in the rebel-held northwest near the Turkish border.

Buildings in Damascus also experienced shaking, causing fear among many residents who fled their homes and gathered in the streets in case another aftershock levelled their house.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand reported that, so far, no Thai citizens have been reported killed in the widespread quake. They expressed their condolences to the government and the people of Turkey.

The Ministry is ready to assist Thais in Turkey through the Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara. The earthquake’s epicentre is located some distance from Thai communities living in Istanbul and Ankara, and only a small number of Thais live in Gaziantep where the second quake hit.

Thai nationals who have been impacted by the earthquake can reach out to the embassy in Ankara by dialling the hotline available 24/7 at +90 (533) 641 5698. The official Facebook page of the Embassy is also providing updates on the situation. The Thai Foreign Ministry is advising all Thais in Turkey to exercise caution and follow instructions and information from local authorities.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.