A major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Turkey and north-west Syria early on Monday morning, killing more than 500 people and injuring hundreds as buildings collapsed across the region, triggering searches for survivors in the rubble.
Turkey’s vice-president, Fuat Oktay, said 284 people had been killed and 2,323 people were injured, as authorities scrambled rescue teams and supply aircraft to the affected area while declaring a “level 4 alarm” that calls for international assistance.
In Syria, more than 237 people had been killed and about 600 injured, most in the provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, where numerous buildings tumbled down.
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