Authorities reported a fresh 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Monday that killed three people and wounded more than 200 in sections of Turkey devastated two weeks ago by a major quake that killed tens of thousands. Other buildings fell, trapping several individuals, and hundreds of people were injured in neighbouring Syria as well.
The tremor on Monday was centred near the town of Defne in Turkey’s Hatay province, one of the hardest-hit areas of the magnitude 7.8 quake that occurred on February 6. It was felt as far away as Egypt in Syria, Jordan, Cyprus, and Israel and was followed by a second, magnitude 5.8 temblor.
Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s Interior Minister, stated three people were killed and 213 were wounded. Search and rescue operations were underway in three fallen buildings where six individuals were thought to be trapped.
Police in Hatay rescued one person trapped inside a three-story structure and were attempting to reach three more, according to HaberTurk television. It was reported that those trapped included movers assisting residents in moving furniture and other goods from a building destroyed by the huge earthquake.
SANA, Syria’s national news agency, said that falling debris wounded six people in Aleppo. The White Helmets, a civil defence group in northwest Syria, reported more than 130 injuries, the majority of which were non-life-threatening, including fractures and incidents of people fainting from terror, while a number of structures in previously devastated regions fell.
The earthquake on February 6 killed almost 45,000 people in both countries; the great majority of them were in Turkey, where more than a million and a half people remain in temporary shelters. Since then, Turkish officials have documented almost 6,000 aftershocks.
The tremor shocked HaberTurk journalists reporting from Hatay, who stated they hung on to one another to prevent collapsing.
Eyewitness Alejandro Malaver claimed individuals in the Turkish city of Adana fled their houses for the streets, taking blankets into their automobiles. According to Mr. Malaver, everyone is terrified, and “no one wants to enter back inside their homes.”
Mehmet Salhaoglullari, who lives in a small town near Samandag, said that he was in a restaurant when it began to shake.
“We all threw ourselves outside and we continued to shake outside,” he said.
In the Syrian city of Idlib, terrified locals were prepared to sleep in parks and other public locations, while fuel queues developed at petrol stations as people tried to get as far away from potentially collapsing buildings as possible.
The Syrian American Medical Society, which operates clinics in northern Syria, claimed it has treated a number of patients, including a 7-year-old kid who had heart attacks as a result of the recent earthquake.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Hatay earlier on Monday and said that his administration will begin building over 200,000 new houses in the quake-ravaged province as soon as next month.
According to Mr. Erdogan, the new structures will be no taller than three or four storeys, built on stronger ground and to higher standards, and designed in collaboration with “geophysics, geotechnical, geology, and seismology academics” and other specialists.
Turkey’s president said that damaged cultural landmarks would be rebuilt in a way that was true to their “historical and cultural texture.”
According to Mr. Erdogan, around 1.6 million people are presently staying in temporary shelters.
The Turkish disaster management agency AFAD updated the number of verified dead from Turkey’s Feb. 6 earthquake to 41,156 on Monday. This brings the total number of deaths in Turkey and Syria to 44,844.
Most of the operations to look for survivors in the quake zone have stopped, but AFAD head Yunus Sezer said earlier that search teams were still working in more than a dozen collapsed buildings, mostly in Hatay province.
After three members of one family—a mother, father, and 12-year-old kid—were retrieved from a collapsed building in Hatay on Saturday, there was no trace of anybody being alive beneath the wreckage. The kid died afterwards.
According to officials, the Feb. 6 earthquake severely damaged or destroyed more than 110,000 structures in 11 earthquake-affected Turkish districts, necessitating their demolition.
The European Union’s health service issued a warning on Monday about the possibility of illness outbreaks in the coming weeks. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control says, “food and water-borne diseases, respiratory infections and vaccine-preventable infections are a risk in the upcoming period, with the potential to cause outbreaks, particularly as survivors are moving to temporary shelters.”
“A surge of cholera cases in the affected areas is a significant possibility in the coming weeks,” it stated, adding that officials in northeastern Syria have documented thousands of cases of the illness since September and that a scheduled vaccine programme has been postponed due to the earthquake.