Over 50 Reported Dead after Powerful 9.7-Magnitude Quake in Southern Turkey

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey on Monday, killing at least 53 people, according to official reports.

A huge earthquake in the region around Kahramanmaras, felt in Cyprus, Lebanon, and Syria, has destroyed dozens of buildings and prompted a search for survivors beneath the rubble in wintry streets.

The Turkish government has deployed rescue teams and sent in supply planes, while also declaring a “level 4 alarm” and asking for help from other countries.

According to state media, at least 53 people died in Turkey, and at least 42 were killed in Syria.

According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the earthquake was located at a depth of about 18 kilometers, and around 10 minutes later, a powerful 6.7 aftershock rumbled in the same area.

Authorities in Turkey have warned that people may still be trapped under collapsed buildings, and state television has shown panicked citizens of southern Turkey pouring into the streets to look for survivors.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) monitoring agency reported that the possibility of a tsunami risk was being evaluated after the earthquake hit near the city of Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey, as reported by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).