Thousands Dead After Massive Earthquakes Rock The Middle East
ADANA, TURKIYE - FEBRUARY 06: Search and rescue operation is being carried out at the debris of a building in Cukurova district of Adana after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit southern provinces of Turkiye, in Adana, Turkiye on February 6, 2023.
Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Thousands of people are reported dead in Turkey and Syria following two earthquakes that rocked the region on Monday.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck shortly after 4 am was one of the strongest to hit Turkey over the last hundred years, leading to scores of buildings and homes being flattened into rubble. Later in the afternoon, a 7.5-magnitude shaker hit the southeastern part of the country.

More than 2,300 people reportedly died after the quakes rocked the region, sending tremors as far away as Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) noted the affected population resides in structures that are extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking. The report said that “high casualties and extensive damage are probable and the disaster is likely widespread.”

According to the USGS’s early estimates, there is a 47% chance of that the earthquake will have killed between 1,000 to 10,000 people and a 20% chance of that the earthquake could have killed between 10,000 and 100,000.

One of the most stunning scenes filmed in the aftermath was a fire that reportedly broke out at a gas line.

The Biden administration responded to the situation by saying that it would provide support to the region.

“The United States is profoundly concerned by the reports of today’s destructive earthquake in Turkiye and Syria,” said national security adviser Jake Sullivan. “We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance. President Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the Government of Turkiye.”

Editor’s note: this article has been expanded with updated information.

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