Turkey, Syria earthquake kills over 3,800; trapped citizens battle freezing weather | Top 5 points
Apartment blocks were flattened in Turkish cities while the earthquake compounded miseries of Syrians already hit by the civil war. Later in the day, two more quakes measuring 7.5 and 6 were reported.
More than 3,800 people have lost their lives and thousands injured after a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake ravaged central Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday. Buildings collapsed like a pack of cards, leaving citizens trapped under the rubble in both the countries. Apartment blocks were flattened in Turkish cities while the earthquake compounded miseries of Syrians already hit by the civil war. Later in the day, two more quakes measuring 7.5 and 6 were reported.
Several global powers including India, Russia, United States, European Union and United Kingdom have sent aid to help in the search and rescue missions. The rescue teams are racing against time to evacuate citizens from the rubble, as the casualty figures are expected to rise further. LIVE coverage
Here are the top developments unfolding in earthquake zones in Turkey and Syria.
1. The rescue operations are being hampered due to damaged roads between some of the worst-hit cities in southern Turkey. The region is home to millions of people, Reuters reported. The people trapped under the debris are likely to face tougher situation as temperatures in some areas may fall to near freezing tonight.
2. The European Union has rushed in search and rescue teams to help Turkey. The Copernicus satellite system was activated to provide emergency mapping services during rescue operations, AP reported. The power bloc said it is also ready to help Syria.
ALSO READ: Nerve-chilling videos show magnitude of destruction
3. The Syrian government has denied requesting Israel for an assistance with relief operations, the Assad regime's pro-government newspaper Al-Watan reported. This comes after Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu said he had approved a request for humanitarian aid to Syria. Israel and Syria do not have diplomatic relations and the two countries have fought several wars.
ALSO READ: Earthquake damages ancient citadel in Syria's Aleppo
4. The devastating earthquake has damaged airports in Adiyaman, Kahramanmaras, Malatya and Hatay. Some hospitals and a port also partially collapsed in Hatay, authorities told Bloomberg. Some highways were also damaged. Turkey hosts the biggest refugee population in the world and many of the 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees are concentrated in areas affected by the quake.
ALSO READ: Why was this earthquake in Turkey and Syria so devastating?
5. Syrian state television showed rescue teams searching for survivors in heavy rain and sleet. President Bashar al-Assad held an emergency cabinet meeting to review the damage and discuss the next steps, his office said.
(With agencies inputs)