New Turkey earthquake kills 3 in debris in Hadey

  • By Laura Picker and Oliver Slow
  • in Hadey and London

image caption,

People react after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey’s Antakya on Monday.

Three people were reported dead after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday, weeks after a devastating earthquake devastated the region.

Interior Minister Sulaiman Soylu said that 213 people were injured.

Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency Afad said the tremor struck at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT).

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the same region on February 6, killing more than 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

The victims of Monday’s earthquake were found in Antakya, Defne and Samandaki, with Mr Soylu urging people not to enter dangerous buildings.

Witnesses told Reuters news agency there was further damage to buildings in Antakya, while the mayor of Hatay in southern Turkey said people were trapped in the rubble.

Turkish authorities have recorded more than 6,000 aftershocks since the February 6 quake struck, but the BBC’s team in the region said the latest tremors felt much stronger than previous ones.

An earthquake struck near the Turkey-Syria border on Monday and more than 100 people were injured as buildings collapsed and widespread panic spread across Syria, the White Helmets civil protection group said.

The Syrian American Medical Society Foundation said five of its hospitals had at least 30 injured in the latest quake, but said damage to its medical facilities “appears to be minimal”.

Fear and panic prevail in Turkey as small earthquakes continue. Lines of ambulances and rescue teams are trying to get to some of the worst-hit areas where walls of badly damaged buildings have collapsed.

Several structures that were standing after the February 6 earthquake have now collapsed, including a bridge. Many of the cracks in the roads have turned into deep ruts, making it very difficult for emergency services to reach places where they are needed.

Muna al-Omar, a local resident, told Reuters he was in a tent in a park in central Antalya when the latest quake struck.

“I thought the earth would split under my feet,” she cried, clutching her seven-year-old son.

“Another aftershock coming?” she asked.

An AFP journalist reported scenes of panic in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, already devastated by an earlier quake – with the latest tremors sending clouds of dust into the city.

Walls of badly damaged buildings also collapsed, AFP reports, with many apparently injured calling for help.

When the latest quake hit, Ali Maslam said he was searching for the bodies of family members from the previous quake.

“You don’t know what to do… We held each other and in front of us, the walls started falling. It was like the earth was opening to swallow us,” he said.

In a tweet, Afad initially urged people to stay away from beaches as a precaution against rising sea levels, although the warning was later lifted.

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