At least 10 people died in an earthquake in Turkey when buildings collapsed and windows shattered

A 7.8 magnitude quake destroyed several buildings in southeastern Turkey and Syria early Monday and many casualties are feared.

At least 10 deaths were initially reported in Turkey.

In northwestern Syria, the opposition Syrian Civil Defense described the situation in the rebel-held region as “catastrophic,” adding that entire buildings had collapsed and people were trapped under the rubble. Civil Defense urged people to evacuate buildings to gather in open spaces.



The US Geological Survey said the center of the quake was about 20 miles from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital. It was centered at a depth of 11 miles, and a powerful 6.7-magnitude aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency AFAD said the quake measured a magnitude of 7.4 and was concentrated in the city of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province.

At least 10 deaths have been confirmed in Sanliurfa, according to Governor Salih Ayhan.

Several buildings collapsed in neighboring provinces of Malatya, Diyarbakir and Malatya, TV HaberTurk reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Syria’s state media reported that some buildings in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama had collapsed.

In Damascus, buildings shook and many people took to the streets in fear.

The tremor jolted residents of Lebanon from their beds and shook buildings for about 40 seconds. Many Beirut residents left their homes and took to the streets or drove their cars away from buildings.

The earthquake came as the Middle East is experiencing a snowstorm that is expected to last through Thursday.

Turkey lies on major fault lines and is frequently rocked by earthquakes.

About 18,000 people died in 1999 in a powerful earthquake in north-west Turkey.

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