ISTANBUL – At least 284 people were killed and 2,323 others injured in 10 provinces after a strong earthquake jolted southern Türkiye on Monday morning, Vice President Fuat Oktay said.
A total of 1,710 buildings collapsed after the earthquake, Oktay said at a news conference.
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 the Pazarcik district in Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras. The quake occurred at a depth of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis provinces are heavily affected by the quake.
"Our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) has been following and managing the event since the moment of the earthquake," Oktay said.
He added that Hatay Airport is currently closed to flights, saying they have also closed Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep to civil flights.
The initial earthquake was also felt in other southeastern provinces, including Diyarbakir and neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria.
Erdogan took to Twitter to convey get well wishes to citizens affected by the earthquake.
He added that AFAD and other units are “on alert.”
Erdogan said rescue teams were immediately dispatched to areas affected by the earthquake.
"Our Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, AFAD, provincial governorships, and all other institutions started their work rapidly,” he said.
"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 continue our work," he added.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said six earthquakes with magnitudes above 6 had hit the country so far early Monday.
Soylu said the earthquakes had affected several provinces including Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Malatya, Adıyaman, Adana, Diyarbakır, Kilis and Sanliurfa.
"Our rescue teams have been dispatched to the region. Our cargo planes were prepared and shipped to the region,” he said.
Soylu said the country issued a level-4 alarm, which includes a call for international aid.
At least five people have been killed and 34 buildings have been destroyed in southern Osmaniye province.
At least six people were killed and 79 injured and six buildings were destroyed in Diyarbakir province while 18 people died and 67 were wounded in Sanliurfa province.
In Malatya province, at least 23 people were killed, 420 were injured and 140 buildings were destroyed.
Gaziantep Governor Davut Gul said 531 buildings collapsed throughout the city after the quake.
AFAD published a statement saying: "Following a discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international assistance was called for the search and rescue through the ERCC (Emergency Response Coordination Centre). (Anadolu)