Thousands of people are waiting to be rescued from under the rubble at freezing temperatures after two major earthquakes struck Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş nine hours apart, at magnitudes of 7.7 and 7.6 respectively.
As of Feb. 7 evening, at least 5,434 people were killed and more than 31,000 people were injured due to quakes, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced.
Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced on late Feb. 6 that at least 5,775 buildings collapsed as a result.
Five million people live in the region affected by the earthquake. The population of the ten affected Turkish provinces exceeds 13 million.
The AFAD announced on late Feb. 6 that 7,840 people have been rescued from under the rubble.
The temperature is expected be between -3 and 4°C on Feb. 7 on the first night after the devastating quakes in affected Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Malatya, Hatay, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Şanlıurfa provinces, as snowfall or heavy rain are expected.
Searches for survivors have been continuing in the rubble with 9,698 people from the search and rescue teams, the AFAD said, as people living in nearby provinces call for more support. Some rescued people have been located to schools, tents, and mosques.
A major earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck southeastern Turkey on Feb. 6 at 4.17 a.m. local time.
A second earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck the same region at 1.24 p.m. local time.
Hundreds of aftershocks occurred after the devastating quakes, reaching up to the magnitude of 6.6.
The quakes were also felt in northern Syria, Cyprus and Lebanon.