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Over 300 dead as 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits southern Turkey, Syria



Over 300 people have been killed while over one thousand are either missing or trapped as a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, which has been described as the strongest earthquakes to hit Turkey in more than 100 years, the the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said on Monday morning.

The USGS said the earthquake sent tremors across the region, collapsing buildings and sending residents running into the streets after it hit just after 4 a.m. Monday morning local time, 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), .

Nurdagi is located along the Turkey-Syria border, and the quake was felt in several countries across the region, including Syria and Lebanon.

At least 76 people were initially feared killed and more than 440 injured in Turkey, while at least 237 people died and more than 630 were injured in Syria, according to reports by Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD and Syrian state news agency, SANA

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“Dozens of people are trapped under rubble. Most of the deaths are reported in Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus,”
according to the “White Helmets” group, a Syrian Civil Defense and a humanitarian organization formed to rescue people injured in conflict.

Monday’s quake is believed to be the strongest to hit Turkey since 1939, when an earthquake of the same magnitude killed 30,000 people, according to the USGS.

Earthquakes of this magnitude are rare, with fewer than five occurring each year on average, anywhere in the world. Seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck Turkey in the past 25 years, but Monday’s is the most powerful,” it added.

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