In photos: Deadly quake strikes Turkey and Syria

Thousands of buildings along the Turkish-Syrian border were destroyed by a powerful pre-dawn earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks on Monday, with the death toll surpassing 2,300.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at 4:17 a.m. local time. Numerous aftershocks followed, according to authorities. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck more than 60 miles away hours later.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stated that the death toll had risen to nearly 1,500 and that at least 8,500 people had been injured.

According to the Syrian Ministry of Health, the death toll in government-held areas of Syria surpassed 430 and 1,280 people were injured. More than 380 people were killed in rebel-held areas, according to Syrian Civil Defense – the White Helmets.

Hundreds were believed to be buried under debris, and the death toll was anticipated to rise as rescuers dug through the debris. In the freezing rain and snow, thousands of survivors were left homeless.

There were also rescue stories. The Turkish Ministry of Defense released a video depicting a mother and her 2-year-old child being rescued from debris in the city of Gaziantep.

"Hurry up, please, because my daughter is fainting," the woman implores as rescuers work feverishly to save her and her daughter. The young girl is the first to be rescued, and responders inform the woman that "your child has been rescued and is alive." After a few moments, the woman is brought to safety.


Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, stated that his country is prepared to send a large contingent of rescue workers to Turkey to assist with crisis response.

Erdogan described the earthquake as the worst since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, which killed over 30,000 people. In 1999, approximately 18,000 people perished in earthquakes that struck northwest Turkey. This region is situated on top of major fault lines.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority of Turkey reported at least 78 aftershocks in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Russia says it is preparing rescue teams to fly to Turkey and neighboring Syria to assist earthquake victims.

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