Hundreds Killed In Huge Earthquake At Syria-Turkey Border

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More than 600 people were killed in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake near the Turkey-Syrian border in the early hours of Monday.

Nearly 3,000 others were injured in the quake that trembled south-eastern Turkey, which is regarded as one of the strongest to hit the country.

The death toll is likely to rise as rescue workers and local residents are scrambling to find survivors trapped under rubble on both sides of the Turkey-Syrian border, reports say.

The earthquake's epicenter was near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Besides Turkey and Syria, the earthquake tremors were reportedly felt also in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel.

As per data released by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, at least 284 people were killed and more than 2,300 were hurt in Turkey.

The number of casualties in Syria is 237, Syrian state news agency SANA reported quoting the Ministry of Health.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 320. The deaths were reported in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus.

The pre-dawn powerful quake on Monday struck while people were asleep and it was followed by multiple aftershocks. Hundreds of buildings collapsed.

A state of emergency was declared in affected Turkish provinces.

Turkey is situated on several fault lines, and is one of the most active earthquake zones in the world.

The leaders of the United States and European nations promised to send help to the region. President Joe Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the Government of Turkiye," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

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