Yuma Sun

New quake hits battered Turkey, Syria

6.4 magnitude earthquake kills 3, hundreds hurt


ANKARA, Turkey – A new 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Monday killed three people and injured more than 200 in parts of Turkey laid waste two weeks ago by a massive quake that killed tens of thousands, authoritie­s said. More buildings collapsed, trapping some people, while scores of injuries were recorded in neighborin­g Syria too.

Monday’s earthquake was centered in the town of Defne, in Turkey’s Hatay province, one the worst-hit regions in the magnitude 7.8 quake that struck on Feb. 6. It was felt in Syria, Jordan, Cyprus, Israel and as far away as Egypt, and followed by a second, magnitude 5.8 temblor.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said three people were killed and 213 injured. Search and rescue efforts were underway in three collapsed buildings where six people were believed trapped.

In Hatay, police rescued one person trapped inside a three-story building and were trying to reach three others inside, Haberturk television reported. It said those trapped included movers helping people shift furniture and other belongings from the building that was damaged in the massive quake.

Syria’s state news agency,

SANA, reported that six people were injured in Aleppo by falling debris. The White Helmets, northwest Syria’s civil defense organizati­on, reported more than 130 injuries, most of them non-life threatenin­g, including fractures and cases of people fainting from fear, while a number of buildings in areas already damaged by the quake collapsed.

The Feb. 6 quake killed nearly 45,000 people in both countries – the vast majority of them in Turkey, where more than a million and a half people are in temporary shelters. Turkish authoritie­s have recorded more than 6,000 aftershock­s since.

Haberturk journalist­s reporting from Hatay said they were jolted violently by Monday’s quake and held onto to each other to avoid falling.

In the Turkish city of Adana, eyewitness Alejandro Malaver said people left homes for the streets, carrying blankets into their cars. Malaver said everyone is really scared and “no one wants to get back into their houses.”

Mehmet Salhaoglul­lari, from a village near Samandag, said he was eating at a restaurant when the building began to shake.

“We all threw ourselves outside and we continued to shake

outside,” he said.

In the Syrian city of Idlib, frightened residents were preparing to sleep in parks and other public places, while fuel lines formed at gas stations as people attempted to get as far as possible from any buildings that might collapse.

The Syrian American Medical Society, which runs hospitals in northern Syria, said it had treated a number of patients – including a 7-year-old boy – who suffered heart attacks brought on by fear following the new quake.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Hatay earlier on Monday, and said his government would begin constructi­ng close to 200,000 new homes in the quake-devastated region as early as next month.

Erdogan said the new buildings will be no taller than three or four stories, built on firmer ground and to higher standards and in consultati­on with “geophysics, geotechnic­al, geology and seismology professors” and other experts.

The Turkish leader said destroyed cultural monuments would be rebuilt in accordance with their “historic and cultural texture.”

Erdogan said around 1.6 million people are currently being housed in temporary shelters.

The Turkish disaster management agency AFAD on Monday raised the number of confirmed fatalities from the Feb. 6 earthquake in Turkey to 41,156. That increased the overall death toll in both Turkey and Syria to 44,844.

Search and rescue operations for survivors have been called off in most of the quake zone, but AFAD chief Yunus Sezer said earlier that search teams were continuing their efforts in more than a dozen collapsed buildings – mostly in Hatay province.

There were no signs of anyone being alive under the rubble since three members of one family – a mother, father and 12-yearold boy – were extracted from a collapsed building in Hatay on Saturday. The boy later died.

Authoritie­s said more than 110,000 buildings across 11 quakehit Turkish provinces were either destroyed or so severely damaged by the Feb. 6 quake that they need to be torn down.

 ?? EFEKAN AKYUZ/DEPO PHOTOS VIA AP ?? A SOLDIER CARRIES A MAN after being injured in the latest earthquake in Hatay, Turkey, on Monday.
EFEKAN AKYUZ/DEPO PHOTOS VIA AP A SOLDIER CARRIES A MAN after being injured in the latest earthquake in Hatay, Turkey, on Monday.

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