19:31 (CET): Death toll rises to 1651
The death toll from the major earthquakes that struck the southeastern region of Turkey has risen to 1651, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced.
The Minister stated that 11,159 people have been injured in the earthquakes so far.
These figures do not include the casualties in Syria.
19:25 (CET): Fire breaks out at port in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay
Dozens of cargo containers caught fire at the port in the southern province of Hatay’s İskenderun district after massive earthquakes hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday. Fire extinguishing operations continue at the port.
19:25 (CET): EU holds meeting to co-ordinate support measures
The European Union will hold a “crisis response” meeting on Monday night regarding the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that impacted southeast Turkey and northern Syria.
The EU has already said that it is mobilising its teams and providing emergency mapping services via a Copernicus satellite system to help the search-and-rescue operations.
The bloc will discuss co-ordinating EU support measures, in collaboration with the European Commission.
18:43 (CET): IRC urges international community to increase funding to Syria
An urgent increase in funding is a must to ensure that those affected by the earthquake get the support they need in Syria, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said, adding that the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (2022-2023) was already severely underfunded with less than 50% of the required $4 billion funded.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in southern Turkey and its powerful aftershocks caused great damage in war-torn Syria.
“The impact has been devastating in areas that already host a high number of displaced and vulnerable families. This tragic incident comes just after the country was hit by a snowstorm that has seen temperatures plummet,” said IRC and warned of thousands at risk as the search and rescue operations are ongoing.
05.25 (CET): US president offers help to Turkey
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria”, tweeted Unites States President Joe Biden, saying he has directed his team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkey and provide assistance.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria. I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye and provide any and all needed assistance.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 6, 2023
05:18 (CET) International humanitarian aid effort mobilised
A global effort to support rescue efforts after the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has been mobilised. International organisations from many countries have offered to send humanitarian aid to the affected areas, reported alJazeera.
Humanitarian emergency aid on its way or already on the ground includes search-and-rescue teams, personnel and equipment to set up camps for shelter, fire fighters and medical teams.
The European Union will send search and rescue teams to Turkey, there are units from Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Italy and Hungary.
Countries that have assured support include China, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Isreal, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, UK and the US.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg assured the public via twitter that NATO allies are mobilising support.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the “UN was ready to help provide urgent relief to the survivors through our field teams wherever possible”.
Meanwhile, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said emergency medical teams had been activated to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable.
03:30 (CET): KNK appeals for help for earthquake victims
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has released an emergency appeal for help for the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria including mainly Kurdish provinces in the early hours of Monday.
“South of Turkey, Rojava/North and East Syria, a region already affected by the Turkish state’s ongoing campaigns of aggression and occupation, has experienced great loss. With hundreds of thousands within Syria displaced by Turkish military aggression, this horrible earthquake in the dead of winter will deepen the humanitarian crisis affecting the peoples of the region, including Kurds, Arabs, Christians and others,” said the KNK.
The KNK has called on all who can to respond to the appeal of the Kurdistan Red Crescent Society (Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê) and help as much as possible to aid those affected by the earthquake, which has caused thousands of dead and injured, trapped thousands under rubble, destroyed thousands of buildings and rendered countless people homeless.
03:18 (CET): State hospitals, Catholic church, historical castle collapse in earthquake
Two state hospitals in the southern province of Hatay collapsed during the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit southern Turkey early on Monday, the Governor of Hatay Rahmi Doğan has announced.
The Latin Catholic Church in the Iskenderun district of Hatay was another of the buildings destroyed in the earthquake. There are also some collapses in the Iskenderun Port dock. The church, also known as İskenderun Cathedral of the Annuncation, was built in 1871 and functioned as the cathedral of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD)’s own facility in Hatay also collapsed in the earthquake, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice President Seyit Torun told NTV.
The historical Gaziantep Castle, located in the Gaziantep city centre, was severely damaged in the earthquake. The tremors caused the stone blocks of the Roman-era castle, estimated to be 2,200 years old, to collapse.
There has been no destruction in the prisons in the provinces affected by the earthquake, the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Law Office announced, saying “We are continuing in our efforts to enable prisoners to communicate with their families.”
02:39 (CET): Iraqi Kurdistan temporarily halts flow of crude oil to Turkey
Iraq’s Kurdistan Region has temporarily halted the flow of its crude oil to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey, Rudaw reported.
The port, which is a vital hub for the transport of Iraqi and Azeri oil, is located in Turkey’s Adana province in southern Turkey, one of those most affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake early on Monday.
Operations at the port have been terminated, though pipelines in Turkey remain undamaged according to preliminary inspections.
02:39 (CET): More challenges ahead for north Syria after major tremor
The earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday will lead to new challenges for humanitarian efforts in war-torn Syria, Sky News Middle East correspondent Alistair Bunkall said.
The 7.8 magnitude quake rocked northern Syria before dawn when most people were sleeping, Bunkall said, adding that this factor will likely increase the casualties.
The quake hit part of Syria already ravaged by years of civil war. Bunkall said most of the buildings that collapsed had already been weak due to structural damage from years of fighting.
“It’s a region of Syria that is under no real coordinated single control, and so trying to rally any kind of rescue effort there amongst the agencies that are currently in the country and people like the White Helmets will be challenging,” Bunkall added when explaining future challenges.
“And it will be even more challenging for the international community to try and get into Syria to help,” he added.
01:52 (CET): Kurdish Commander Abdi offers help to regions hit by earthquake
Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on Monday offered his condolences to people affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey’s southern provinces and North Kurdistan.
“It was with great sorrow that we heard the news of the earthquake in Bakur [North Kurdistan] and Turkey,” Abdi wrote on Twitter.
“We offer our condolences to the people of Bakur [North Kurdistan] and Turkey, and the families of those lost. We wish for recovery for the wounded, we are thinking of them, and we are ready to offer help,” he added.
01:49 (CET): Turkey updates earthquake death toll as 1,014
At least 1,014 people have died in Turkey’s southern provinces due to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake early on Monday, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced. The updated death toll does not include casualties of a second 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the region in the afternoon.
01:30 (CET): Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê launces aid campaign for earthquake victims
The Kurdistan Red Crescent Society (Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê) has launched an aid campaign to meet the urgent needs of victims in the earthquake region, as thousands of people remain under the rubble with severe winter conditions making the rescue efforts still more difficult.
Donors can contribute to the campaign via PayPal.
01:23 (CET): Adana airport in Turkey closes
The Turkish authorities have announced that the airport in the southern province of Adana has been closed to civilian flights after a second earthquake rocked the region on Monday, Sabah newspaper reported.
The airports of Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep provinces have been closed after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake early Monday. Hatay airport’s runway was split in half by the tremor.
The lesser damaged airports are still being used for transporting humanitarian and rescue aid to the region.
01:15 (CET): Death toll in Syria at least 644, says North Press
At least 644 people died and 1,464 others have been injured across Syria after the major earthquake on Monday morning, the North Press Agency reported.
The tremor rocked northern regions of Syria, some controlled by the Damascus government and others by rebel or Kurdish forces. The updated death toll does not include casualties that followed a second 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the region in the early afternoon of Monday.
12:25 (CET) Fresh quake of magnitude 7.6 hits Turkey
A second earthquake, this time of magnitude 7.6, has shaken Turkey’s southern provinces, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said.
The agency stated that the epicentre of the new tremor was the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaraş province.
AFAD added that the new tremor was not an aftershock of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake from earlier on Monday, but an independent one.
12:15 (CET): Death toll in Turkey rises to 912
At least 912 people have died, and 5,385 have been injured in the earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale that hit southern Turkey early this morning, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
The president added that so far 2,470 people have been rescued and some 9,000 workers have joined rescue efforts.
12:15 (CET): Turkey’s HDP establishes crisis centre after major quake
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has established a crisis coordination centre after Turkey’s southeast provinces were hit by a major earthquake early on Monday.
The HDP released a list of essential needs on Twitter and asked citizens to bring them to its provincial and district headquarters across Turkey.
Pervin Buldan, co-chair of the party, called for solidarity to heal the wounds after the quake. Buldan will be in Diyarbakır (Amed) province in southeast Turkey to oversee aid efforts, while the other co-chair Mithat Sancar will be in southern province of Adana.
A building in the southern province of Hatay, which housed the HDP district headquarters and the branch organisation of the Human Rights Association (İHD), collapsed after the earthquake.
12:09 (CET): Kurdish authorities call for civil mobilisation after earthquake
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) on Monday called everyone to mobilise in a spirit of solidarity after an earthquake hit southern Turkey, including Kurdish majority provinces in the early hours.
The KCK extended its condolences to all those living in northern Kurdistan and other provinces in Turkey that are affected by the earthquake. It also accused the Turkish government of corruption and failure to take necessary precautions against disasters, so exacerbating the damage and the resulting casualties caused by the tremor.
“We make this call because of the earthquake: Everybody, and in particular the people of north Kurdistan need to act in a high spirit of solidarity and mobilise all resources. Our people need to put forward whatever means they have and try to heal their own wounds without waiting for the state to act,” the KCK said.
The Kurdish organisation also called on everyone to open their houses to those in need and advised Kurdish institutions to coordinate humanitarian aid efforts.
11:13 (CET) Earthquake region to be further hit by cold weather
The epicentre of the tremor was the Pazarcık district of Turkey’s southern Kahramanmaraş province, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), which announced the magnitude of the quake as 7.4 on the Richter scale.
Ten of the provinces in Turkey hit by the earthquake will also have to face a cold and wet weather system moving towards the region, that could hamper rescue efforts, according to Turkey’s General Directorate of Meteorology.
Sub-zero temperatures and snow are forecasted for seven of the provinces, Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman, while heavy rain is expected in Hatay, Osmaniye and Adana.
The country’s Petroleum Pipeline Cooperation (BOTAŞ) announced early Monday that it has stopped supplying gas to the earthquake area as a precaution. BOTAŞ added that no damage was discovered on inspection of pipelines transporting raw petroleum.
10:39 (CET): Hundreds dead, thousands buried in rubble as earthquake measuring 7.8 hits Turkey, Syria
Hundreds of people have been killed, and thousands injured or trapped after a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday.
The epicentre of the tremor was the Pazarcık district of Turkey’s southern Kahramanmaraş province, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), which announced the magnitude of the quake as 7.4.
The earthquake hit 10 provinces in Turkey heavily, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay announced early on Monday that at least 284 people had been killed and 2,323 injured. But the death toll is certainly expected to rise, and in the meantime strong aftershocks with magnitudes of over 6 continue to shake the region.
Turkey issued a Level 4 alarm calling for international aid to which many countries have already responded.
Meanwhile in government-controlled areas of Syria, more than 230 people are known to have been killed and over 600 injured, mostly in Hama, Aleppo and Latakia provinces, a Syrian health official said early on Monday.
In the meantime Sky News, citing rescuers, has reported that at least 147 people have died in opposition-held areas of northwest Syria. Hospitals in the region are overwhelmed with patients, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).