New earthquake measuring 6.3 rocks Türkiye-Syria border region
Updated 02:43, 21-Feb-2023
Türkiye and Syria suffered two huge earthquakes just two weeks ago./ Sameer Ai-Doumy/AFP
Türkiye and Syria suffered two huge earthquakes just two weeks ago./ Sameer Ai-Doumy/AFP

Türkiye and Syria suffered two huge earthquakes just two weeks ago./ Sameer Ai-Doumy/AFP

An earthquake, with a magnitude 6.3 at a depth of two kilometers, struck the Türkiye-Syria border region on Monday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said.

Two witnesses reported a strong quake and further damage to buildings in central Antakya which was hit by two massive earthquakes two weeks ago, which left more than 41,000 dead in Türkiye and widespread destruction to buildings and infrastructure.

Other witnesses said Turkish rescue teams were seen running through the streets after the latest quake, checking people were unharmed.


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Muna Al Omar, a resident, said she was in a tent in a park in central Antakya when the earthquake hit. "I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet," she said.

Hours earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on a visit to Türkiye that Washington would help "for as long as it takes" as rescue operations were winding down and focus turned towards urgent shelter and reconstruction work.

The two larger earthquakes that hit on February 6, which also rocked neighboring Syria, left more than a million homeless and killed over 46,000 people in both countries, according latest figures.

Smaller tremors have jolted the region in the last two weeks but Monday's quake was the largest since the initial devastating quakes.

"It was very strong. It jolted us out of our places," said Burhan Abdelrahman, who was walking out of his tent in a camp in Antakya city center when the earthquake struck. "I called relatives in Syria, Adana, Mersin, Izmir, everywhere, to check on them."

Türkiye's disaster agency AFAD urged residents to stay away from the Mediterranean coast over a possible 50-centimeter rise in waters due to the quake.

President Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said construction work on nearly 200,000 apartments in 11 earthquake-hit provinces of Türkiye would begin next month.


Among the survivors of the earthquakes are about 356,000 pregnant women who urgently need access to health services, the U.N. sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) has said.

In Syria, already shattered by more than a decade of civil war, most deaths have been in the northwest, where the United Nations said 4,525 people were killed.

Syrian officials say 1,414 people were killed in areas under the control of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said a convoy of 14 of its trucks had entered northwestern Syria from Türkiye on Sunday to assist in rescue operations.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has also been pressuring authorities in that region to stop blocking access for aid from Syrian government-controlled areas.

Source(s): Reuters

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