(NEW YORK) — More than 1,200 people are dead after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, officials said.
The pre-dawn quake was centered in the town of Pazarcik in Turkey’s southeastern Kahramanmaras province and was followed by several powerful aftershocks. Thousands of buildings were toppled on both sides of the border, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched for survivors in the massive piles of rubble.
Both Turkey and Syria have declared a state of emergency.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Feb 06, 7:25 AM EST
Monday’s quake was as powerful as the strongest ever recorded in Turkey
Monday’s deadly earthquake in Turkey, which was felt in Syria and other surrounding countries, was as strong as the most powerful one on record in Turkish history.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Turkey in 1939, killing approximately 30,000 people. Monday’s quake in southeastern Turkey had the same magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Earthquakes frequently occur in Turkey, which is situated on top of major fault lines.
Some 18,000 people were killed in powerful earthquakes that hit northwestern Turkey in 1999.
Feb 06, 7:02 AM EST
7.5 magnitude aftershock hits Turkey
Several hours after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey early Monday, a powerful aftershock measuring 7.5 hit the country’s Kahramanmaras province around 1:30 p.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Feb 06, 5:42 AM EST
Death toll jumps to over 1,200 in Turkey, Syria
Monday’s earthquake has killed at least 912 people in several Turkish provinces and injured 5,382 others, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced during a press conference.
Thousands of buildings were destroyed, Erdogan said.
Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency, AFAD, is deploying 1,898 search and rescue workers along with 150 vehicles in response to the deadly earthquake. Turkey’s national police force has deployed 130 tactical unit members with mobile command centers and kitchens to the city of Kahramanmaras, near the quake’s epicenter. A total of 300,000 blankets were also sent to the region, which is deep in winter weather.
Meanwhile, at least 239 people were killed and some 600 were injured in government-held areas of Syria, according to Syrian state media. In rebel-controlled areas, at least 147 people were killed, according to the Syrian civil defense and medical group that operates in opposition-held areas, known as the White Helmets.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom-based monitoring group, put the overall death toll at 320.
Feb 06, 12:12 AM EST
US ‘profoundly concerned’ by ‘destructive earthquake’ in Turkey, Syria
The United States “is profoundly concerned” by the reports of the “destructive earthquake” in Turkey and Syria, and “will continue to closely monitor the situation,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement late Sunday night.
“We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance,” Sullivan added, noting that U.S. President Joe Biden “has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected.”
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake in Turkey at magnitude of 7.8.
-ABC News’ Lauren Minore
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