Major earthquake strikes Turkey and Syria killing hundreds

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Turkey and Syria in the early hours of this morning.

At least 360 people have been killed across the two nations, but the death toll is expected to rise.

Videos shared on social media show dozens of collapsed apartment buildings in densely populated areas on both sides of the border.

Hundreds of injured have been reported as rescue teams are searching through the mountains of rubble for more survivors.

The epicenter of the earthquake was near the city of Gaziantep, in south-central Turkey, but it was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.

‘I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I’ve lived,’ said Erdem, a resident of Gaziantep.

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‘We were shaken at least three times very strongly, like a baby in a crib.’

Turkey’s disaster agency has declared a ‘level 4 alarm’ that calls for international assistance.

Meanwhile, Syrian state media said most fatalities were reported in the provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, where numerous buildings had been brought down, which has only worsened the humanitarian situation.

The White Helmets has put out a statement declaring a state of emergency in the northwest of the country.

NW #Syria in a state of catastrophe after 7.8 magnitude #earthquake. Destruction, devastation, and collapse of buildings. Hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths, many trapped under the rubble or stranded in the winter cold. We call on the international community to take action.

It said: ‘The earthquake has resulted in hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths, and people being stranded in the winter cold. Adverse weather conditions, including low temperatures and stormy weather have, have compounded the dire situation.’

They is appealing to international humanitarian groups to intervene and support the affected populations with aid.

‘The situation is very tragic, tens of buildings have collapsed in the city of Salqin,’ a member of the White Helmets stressed in a video on Twitter.

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