76 dead after magnitude 7.4 quake jolts southeastern Türkiye
At least 76 people died Monday in Türkiye when a major 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the southeast of the country, local officials said, News.Az reports citing Daily Sabah.
Officials said 23 people died in the province of Malatya, 17 in Şanlıurfa, seven in Osmaniye, and six in Diyarbakır, although the toll threatened to climb much higher because of the heavy damage.
According to the country's disaster agency, the strong earthquake originated in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.
Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the 7.4 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 a.m. (0117GMT) and was centered in Pazarcık district.
The quake occurred at a depth of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
It was followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake that struck southeastern Gaziantep province.
A third earthquake with a 6.5 magnitude also hit Gaziantep.
The initial earthquake was also felt in other southeastern provinces including Diyarbakır and neighboring countries including Lebanon and Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took to Twitter to convey get-well wishes to citizens affected by the initial earthquake.
He added that AFAD and other units are "on alert.”
He noted that rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the province affected by the earthquake.
"Our Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, AFAD, provincial governorships and all other institutions started their work rapidly."
"We are also coordinating our work after the earthquake. We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage and we will continue our work."
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu also said that six earthquakes with magnitudes above 6 had hit the country so far early Monday.