The earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria continues to provide devastating news for thousands of families. By Monday morning, more than 3,600 people had been killed.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority in Turkey reported that more than 2,300 were killed in Turkey, according to the Washington Post. The same agency said that at least 13,000 people were injured and a total of 3,471 buildings collapsed.
Authorities in Syria reported at least 1,350 dead and 3,411 people injured, according to NBC News.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.8 quake hit at 4:17 a.m. local time, and several aftershocks followed. And just hours late, a 7.5 magnitude quake struck more than 60 miles away.
Rescue crews were sent to look through the rubble of destroyed buildings hoping to find survivors or bodies of the dead.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, declared seven days of national mourning for his country. He said this was the worst disaster since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake that killed more than 30,000 people.
Most experts agree that the death toll will likely rise as the searches continue.
The region sits on major fault lines, and the situation is compounded by the presence of millions of refugees displaced by years-long civil war in Syria. People have been taking refuge on both sides of the Turkey/Syria border.
Leaders of nations around the world have pledged their support in this crisis.
“Our teams are deploying quickly to begin to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and address the needs of those injured and displaced by the earthquake,” said President Joe Biden.
General António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, said, “My heart goes out to the people of [Turkey] and Syria in this hour of tragedy. The United Nations is fully committed to supporting the response. Our teams are on the ground assessing the needs and providing assistance.”
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.8 quake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time. Scores of aftershocks followed, authorities said. Hours later, a 7.5 magnitude quake struck more than 60 miles away. https://t.co/EXzuBKjsXR pic.twitter.com/vwZyD8hlX8
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 6, 2023
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 6, 2023