Two more earthquakes were reported in Turkey on Monday. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake and another measuring 5.8 have hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, terrifying those left in a region devastated by duo earthquakes two weeks ago.
Turkey’s interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, said in a televised statement that at least three people were killed and 213 had been injured by the latest quakes. A government hospital in the city of İskenderun in the north of Hatay province was evacuating victims.
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Soylu also urged people to stay away from potentially dangerous buildings. At least six people were injured in Syria, AP reported.
The 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at a depth of just 2km (1.2 miles), magnifying its impact at the ground level, according to European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). The epicentre was reported near the southern Turkish city of Antakya and tremors were felt in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.
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Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkey’s disaster management agency, announced via Tweet that the epicentre of the larger quake was below the Defne district of Hatay. This is the region where many have complaints of lacklustre government response to the first earthquakes were reported.
The death toll in Turkey from the earthquakes two weeks ago climbed to 41,156 on Monday, AFAD announced. It was expected to rise further, with 385,000 apartments known to have been destroyed or seriously damaged and many people still missing. At least 47,000 people were estimated to have died across Turkey and Syria.
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The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced that construction work on nearly 200,000 apartments in 11 earthquake-impacted provinces of Turkey would start next month.
Hours earlier, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, on a visit to Turkey declared that the USA would help “for as long as it takes” as rescue operations and aftermaths were winding down and the focus turned towards urgent shelter and reconstruction work.
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Blinken reviewed the destruction in Hatay province with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on Sunday, promising an additional £83m aid to Turkey and Syria over the £71m previously pledged by president Joe Biden.