The large earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday (6) caused more than 2,300 deaths. Turkish government sources confirmed 1,498 fatalities in the country, while the international press counted more than 800 deaths in Syria, according to official sources. These numbers were confirmed around 12:00 (Brasília time) this Monday. It is quite likely that there will be even more deaths.
The first quake reached 7.8 on the Richter scale – used to measure earthquakes. There are no records of a tremor that had exceeded 10 points on the scale – and it was registered at 4:17 am by local time (22:17 on Sunday in Brasilia). Other dozens of aftershocks were recorded afterwards, one of which reached 7.7 degrees on the same scale, which increased the number of structures affected and the damage caused.
The epicenter of the tremor is located near the city of Gaziantep, the ninth largest in Turkey and which is close to the border with Syria (the city of Aleppo, one of the hardest hit by the effects of the Syrian war, is about 120 kilometers away, for example). There were reflections in dozens of locations in both countries and also in others, such as Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Georgia and Armenia.
Work to rescue buried victims and collect bodies is being hampered by the weather. The severe winter in the region is causing many people who had their homes hit to stay in the street amidst snow and rain in many of the places where the tremor was most intense.
Governments around the world offered solidarity to the affected countries. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Austria, confirmed the sending of professionals and equipment to help with the searches. The Syrian government has requested international support to deal with the situation.
On Twitter, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) stated that “Brazil expresses its solidarity with the people of both countries, with the families of the victims and all who lost their homes in this tragedy.”
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho
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