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Death toll rises to 600 in Turkey’s worst earthquake in 100 years

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Death toll has jumped to 600 as the strongest earthquake in over 100 years hits Turkey with rescuers struggling to find trapped survivors from the earthquake which woke and shook resident from their bed at about 4.00 am on Monday morning.

The earthquake sent tremors as far as Lebanon and Israel. The earthquake epicenter was 23km (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at adepth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The Turkish Armed Forces have set up an air corridor to enable search and rescue teams to reach the zones affected by the major earthquake in Southern Turkey, the country’s Defence Ministry said on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.

“We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage,” he wrote.

On the Syrian side of the border, the quake smashed opposition-held regions that are packed with several million displaced Syrians with a decrepit health care system after years of war.

At least 11 were killed in one town, Atmed, and many more were buried in the rubble.

Tallies from various officials put the toll to at least 18 dead in Turkey and 13 in Syria.

At least 130 buildings tumbled down in Turkey‘s Malatya province, governor Hulusi Sahin also said.

 

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