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Latest on quakes that hit beleaguered region
- A second 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey after the 7.8-magnitude temblor earlier Monday.
- The quakes have killed more than 3,700 people in Turkey and northern Syria, and the toll is expected to rise.
- The early morning 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centered about 20 miles from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital in Turkey.
- The first quake was Turkey's largest disaster since 1939, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
Los Angeles quake team heading to Turkey will bring along 'hope'
The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s heavy urban search and rescue team heading to Turkey to help in the disaster has found people alive when responding to past international earthquakes, an official said Monday.
“One of the most important things is for the people to have hope,” Deputy Fire Chief Tom Ewald said, adding, “For the folks impacted, every little bit makes a difference.”
The Los Angeles team is one of two being sent by the U.S. The other is out of Virginia.
Ewald said at a news conference that in addition to expertise and equipment for heavy rescues in reinforced concrete, the team will also have medical equipment and doctors who can perform amputations on people who are trapped so they can be rescued.
The Los Angeles County team, which specializes in earthquakes, has deployed to disasters in other countries, including the 2017 earthquake in Mexico City, officials said.
The team will take everything it needs for a base camp. The hope is that it is in Turkey and operational within 18 hours, Ewald said Monday evening.
“Through history, there’s been rescues made out to the 10-day mark and even slightly beyond that,” Ewald said.
Australia pledges $10 million in assistance after earthquakes
Australia pledged $10 million in humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria on Tuesday following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake and a strong aftershock that have killed thousands of people.
It pledged $7 million to Turkey and $3 million to Syria, in part through partner agencies like the Red Cross and Red Crescent and UNICEF, Pat Conroy, Australia’s minister for defense industry and minister of international development, said in a joint statement with the country's foreign affairs minister.
New Zealand also announced $1.5 million in assistance to the two countries Tuesday, which it called an initial contribution.
Other countries have also pledged aid to Turkey and Syria after the earthquake struck early Monday. More than 3,700 people have died in the two countries, officials have said.
More than 6,000 buildings collapsed, state-run media reports
As rescuers search for survivors following a 7.8-magnitutde earthquake that struck Turkey, more than 6,000 buildings in the country have collapsed, state-run media reported.
Yunus Sezer, the head of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, said 6,217 buildings have collapsed in the earthquake and aftershocks, according to the Anadolu Agency, a state-run news agency.
More than 3,700 people have died in Turkey and Syria, officials have said. Countries all over the world, including the U.S., have offered help and search and rescue teams.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said it's the country’s largest disaster since 1939, when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country. Monday's earthquake was also followed by a 7.5-magnitude aftershock.
People pulled from rubble almost 24 hours after quake, news agency reports
Two people in the Turkey province of Sanliurfa have been pulled from collapsed buildings by rescuers 18 and 22 hours after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country, the Anadolu news agency in Turkey reported.
The videos posted by the Anadolu Agency, which is state-run, were said to show a person being rescued from a collapsed six-story building 18 hours after the earthquake and a woman being rescued 22 hours after it.
Structures where earthquakes hit were ‘particularly vulnerable,’ USGS says
Buildings in the area where a devastating earthquake struck in Turkey on Monday, killing more than 3,700 people, were vulnerable to earthquakes, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
“It’s difficult to watch this tragedy unfold, especially since we’ve known for a long time about how poorly the buildings in the region tend to behave in earthquakes,” USGS scientist David Wald said in an article on its website. “An earthquake this size has the potential to be damaging anywhere in the world, but many structures in this region are particularly vulnerable.”
Also contributing to the intense shaking was how shallow the two largest of the earthquakes were — the main one was 11 miles deep, and a 7.5-magnitude aftershock was just over 6 miles deep, it said.
"Shallow” earthquakes are considered those with depth of 70 kilometers or less, or around 43½ miles, according to the USGS. Intermediate are those between around 43½ miles and 186½ miles, and deep are between that and nearly 435 miles, according to the agency.
The region has older buildings with older types of concrete, which were not designed to absorb so much shaking, the USGS said.
Three tectonic plates, the Anatolia, Arabia and Africa plates, interact with one another in the region where the earthquakes struck, according to the agency, and more aftershocks are expected.
‘Time is of the essence’ for aid, U.S. representative to U.N. says
The U.S. representative to the United Nations issued an urgent call for aid to Turkey and Syria after the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks.
“With the death toll already in the thousands, time is of the essence to get assistance to Türkiye and Syria,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Monday in a statement, using another spelling by which Turkey is known.
Syria has been wracked by more than a decade of civil war, and medical facilities there “have long been strained beyond capacity,” Thomas-Greenfield said. Turkey has taken in 3.5 million Syrian refugees.
"President Biden has authorized an immediate U.S. response, and I echo the U.N. Secretary-General’s call to the international community to urgently increase critical funding and assistance to help those affected," she said.
‘The building collapsed on us’: Survivor of Turkey quake fears for wife
A man who survived Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey said that a building collapsed on him and his wife and that, although he was able to escape, she was in the rubble.
Hulusi Ibrahim said that he spent three hours with his wife after "the building collapsed on us" but that she never showed any response, according to Reuters video from the scene.
“My wife is in there. One should never give up on hope, but most probably she died. There is always hope, but I stayed with her for three hours and spent another hour to get out,” Ibrahim told the news agency.
“I didn’t get any response from her for three hours,” he said. “I don’t know. I can’t bring myself to say.”
At least 3,790 people have died in Turkey and in Syria, according to officials.
Search and rescue teams from Virginia, Los Angeles deploying to help
Teams from Virginia’s Task Force 1 and the Los Angeles County Fire Department are being deployed to help in the earthquake disaster in Turkey, the U.S. Agency for International Development said Monday.
“We wish safe travels to all those making the journey to help communities devastated by this catastrophe,” said USAID, which is an independent agency of the U.S. government.
Several countries, as well as the European Union, have offered assistance to Turkey after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, has killed at least 3,790 people in Turkey and Syria.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said its team, USA-2, will send 81 personnel, six K9 teams and three structural engineers. Virginia's team, USA-1, said it was sending 79 members and six dogs.
Deadly earthquakes since 2000
A look at some of the world’s deadliest earthquakes since 2000:
- Sept. 28, 2018: A magnitude-7.5 earthquake hits Indonesia, killing more than 4,300 people.
- April 25, 2015: In Nepal, more than 8,800 people are killed by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake.
- March 11, 2011: A magnitude-9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 20,000 people.
- Jan. 12, 2010: In Haiti, a staggering 316,000 people are killed by a magnitude-7.0 quake, according to government estimates.
- May 12, 2008: A magnitude-7.9 quake strikes eastern Sichuan in China, resulting in over 87,500 deaths.
- May 26, 2006: More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude-6.3 quake hits the island of Java, Indonesia.
- Oct. 8, 2005: A magnitude-7.6 earthquake kills over 80,000 people in Pakistan’s Kashmir region.
- Dec. 26, 2004: A magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
- Dec. 26, 2003: A magnitude-6.6 earthquake hits southeastern Iran, resulting in 50,000 deaths.
- Jan. 26, 2001: A magnitude-7.7 quake strikes Gujarat in India, killing 20,000 people.
Biden stands ready to offer 'any and all' assistance to NATO ally
U.S. President Joe Biden offered "any and all needed assistance" to Turkey in a call to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday, according to a White House summary of the conversation.
"He noted that U.S. teams are deploying quickly to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and coordinate other assistance that may be required by people affected by the earthquakes, including health services or basic relief items," the White House said.
Biden also offered Erdoğan his condolences on behalf of the American people.
Aftershocks as strong as Turkey’s 7.5-magnitude tremor are rare
The 7.5-magnitude tremor that struck Turkey on Monday after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was an unusually strong aftershock, according to seismologists.
Aftershocks are typically about 1.2 magnitude units lower than the original quake, a statistical theory shows. But the jolt that hit Turkey just over nine hours after the initial earthquake was only 0.3 units smaller.
Seismologists said the 7.5-magnitude shake that came after the first quake qualified as an aftershock because it met aftershock classifications: It occurred within one fault line of the initial quake, and it was smaller in magnitude.
What will happen next is hard to predict. Dara Goldberg, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey, said many smaller aftershocks are still likely.
“As we start to see how this aftershock sequence shapes up, we’ll have better estimates of how long and how productive we expect this sequence to be,” Goldberg said. “But unfortunately, the reality is that there will certainly be aftershocks, and hopefully they don’t significantly hinder rescue efforts.”
Earthquake death toll rises to 3,790
The death toll in the massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria climbed to 3,790, according to officials in both countries.
In Turkey, at least 2,379 people were killed and 14,483 others were injured, with 6,217 buildings collapsed, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. Some 7,840 people have been rescued from the rubble.
In Syria, at least 711 people were killed and 1,431 more were injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry.
At least 700 people have died and 2,000 more were injured in Syria’s rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
Iraq, Qatar and Israel join relief effort
Iraq, Qatar and Israel offered aid in the form of supplies and personnel to earthquake victims Monday.
Israel pledged to deploy a military aid mission consisting of 150 people to Turkey. The military staff will include search and rescue teams and medics.
Iraq's government said it would send search and rescue teams, first aid kits, fuel, tents, food and water to Syria and Turkey. Volunteers with Turkish visas have committed to travel as part of the relief efforts, and a group of trucks supervised by the Iraqi Red Crescent has already reached the Turkish border, the government said.
Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry tweeted Monday that it is sending 10,000 mobile residences to both countries as part of its relief support.
Several other countries and world leaders have also offered assistance.
Earthquake death toll rises to 3,672
The death toll in the massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria rose to 3,672, according to officials in both countries.
In Turkey, at least 2,316 people were killed and 13,293 more were injured, with 6,217 buildings collapsed, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. Some 7,840 people have been rescued from the rubble.
In Syria, at least 656 people were killed and 1,419 more were injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry. Some 700 people have died and 2,000 were injured in Syria’s rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
U.S. will send search and rescue teams to Turkey, State Department says
The U.S. will dispatch two search and rescue teams of 78 people to aid Turkish allies in the coming days, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a briefing.
"It is our fervent hope that the rescue and recovery effort is able to save as many lives, to pull people from the rubble, to focus on that near-term priority to stabilize buildings," Price said.
The U.S. Consulate in Adana will also assist in recovery efforts, Price added. "We're going to open our doors."
U.S. says no confirmed American deaths so far after earthquake
The U.S. said Monday that it has not confirmed any Americans among the thousands of people killed in the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria. But that could change as the death toll continues to climb, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing.
“As of earlier today, we have not yet confirmed the deaths of Americans, but I think we’re all realistic,” Price said. “We’re all very sober about the implications of this and the fact that many countries, many nationalities, are likely to be implicated just given the massive toll and destruction.”
UNICEF working to offer victims 'psychological support, comfort, warmth'
James Elder, spokesman for UNICEF, said Monday that the aid group was mobilizing to provide earthquake victims with essentials.
In an interview with CNN, Elder said an "enormous amount" must be done, as resources are already overstretched in the region with freezing temperatures and a cholera outbreak.
The sudden and unexpected nature of an earthquake leaves families with little time to pack what they need, he added.
"You have a second to decide, and of course there is nothing to grab but your child," Elder said. "And then they flee outside to nothing, to dust and to devastation, to screams from neighbors, so psychological support, comfort, warmth are absolutely essential."
Syria's U.N. ambassador requests humanitarian aid in meeting with U.N. secretary-general
Ambassador Bassam al-Sabbagh requested a mobilization of United Nations efforts and aid in the provision of health services, shelters and food supply across Syrian cities in a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"The secretary-general expressed his condolences and solidarity with the people in the government of Syria," al-Sabbagh said during a news conference.
"We are requesting help from the U.N. members and from the United Nations Secretariat to help Syria in this devastating catastrophic situations, taking into consideration also that Syria had suffered a lot during the last 10 years," al-Sabbagh said.
Earthquake death toll in Turkey and Syria rises again to 3,112
The death toll in Monday’s massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria climbed to 3,112, according to officials in both countries.
In Turkey, at least 1,762 people were killed and 12,068 injured, with 3,471 buildings collapsed, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
In Syria, the total death toll within the affected areas as well as in Syria’s rebel-held areas rose to at least 1,350, with another 3,411 injured, according to authorities.
White Helmets say death toll 'may increase every minute'; 200 buildings collapsed
A volunteer for the White Helmets, Syria's opposition volunteer team of search and rescue responders officially known as Syria Civil Defence, said that "the number of victims may increase every minute."
"The casualty is great, every hour," Abdelkhalek Zakra said.
The White Helmets also say the number of completely collapsed buildings has risen to more than 200, with more than 420 partially collapsed. Thousands more buildings in northwestern Syria have sustained cracks.
Drone footage shows collapsed buildings in TurkeyFeb. 6, 202300:55
Death toll rises to 2,724
The death toll has risen to 2,724 in the massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, according to officials in both countries.
In Syria, the death toll increased to at least 593, with another 1,411 injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry.
At least 480 people have died and 1,500 were injured in Syria’s rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
In Turkey, at least 1,651 people were killed and 11,119 injured, with 3,471 buildings collapsed, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
UNICEF: Thousands of kids at risk as schools and hospitals are destroyed
Thousands of children in Turkey and Syria are at risk for poor health and educational outcomes and displacement, among other challenges, following the devastation of the earthquakes, UNICEF said.
"That the initial earthquake happened so early in the morning, when many children were fast asleep, made it even more dangerous, and the aftershocks bring continuing risks," UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said.
Children are at risk of being particularly harmed by the destruction of schools, hospitals and other facilities, UNICEF said.
Syrian children have already dealt with years of displacement, killings, injuries and forced fighting due to the ongoing civil war. And children 4 years old and younger made up more than half of 37,700 suspected cholera cases in northwest Syria, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported last month.
Now, other waterborne diseases could pose another deadly risk for children and families, UNICEF warned Monday.
"Our hearts and thoughts are with the children and families affected, especially those who have lost loved ones or who have been injured. Our immediate priority is to ensure children and families affected receive the support they so desperately need," Russell, the executive director, said.
It is currently unclear how many children are among the more than 2,600 dead, and thousands more injured, between Turkey and Syria.
Scenes of grief and destruction after devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
No impact from earthquakes on Turkey's nuclear security, Turkish authorities say
So far, there have been no issues related to the country's radiological safety or the security of its radioactive sources, officials from Turkey's nuclear regulatory authority reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Turkey's nuclear power plant, which is under construction, has not been affected by the earthquakes.
Turkey to observe seven days of national mourning, Erdogan says
Turkey will observe seven days of national mourning, President Erdogan has announced.
"Our flag will be hoisted at half-mast until sunset on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in all our country and foreign representations," a translated portion of Erdogan's tweet said.
The country's death toll has climbed to more than 1,600, with over 11,100 injured, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
Video shows building in Turkey collapse after deadly earthquakeFeb. 6, 202300:41
Earthquake death toll rises to 2,639
The death toll in Monday’s massive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria jumped to 2,639, according to officials in both countries.
In Turkey, at least 1,651 people were killed and 11,119 injured, with 3,471 buildings collapsed, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
In Syria, at least 538 people have died, with another 1,353 injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry.
At least 450 people have died and 1,000 were injured in Syria’s rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
Turkish defense minister: 3,500 personnel participating in search and rescue efforts
According to Turkey's minister of national defense, Hulusi Akar, 3,500 personnel are participating in search and rescue efforts in the country, along with 17 planes that have already taken 73 flights to provide aid.
More than two dozen mobile field kitchens, and 15 bathroom and toilet containers, have been shipped to the earthquake zones, Akar added.
And more than a dozen defense ministers from around the world have offered condolences and said they are ready to provide material support, according to Akar.
Earthquake brings new devastation to war-ravaged Syria
Families who had so far managed to survive Syria’s decadelong civil war saw their already-battered homes come crashing down around them Monday.
“This time they didn’t escape,” said Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a resident of the area who sent a video to NBC News hours after a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the region.
The quake has piled further misery on rebel-held Syrian towns and nearby areas, threatening a new humanitarian crisis exacerbated by winter and war. It reduced homes to rubble as residents slept in the bitter winter cold that has enveloped the country’s northwest.
Alhamdo stood against a gray horizon littered with the remains of what used to be the heart of a town, gesturing to the wreckage around Atareb’s market.
“They are just underground. People are under the rubble,” he said.
No structural risk remains in dams, Turkish VP Oktay says
"All dams in the region were inspected very quickly by the State Hydraulic Works," Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay said in a CNN Turkey broadcast of state television.
"There were some superficial cracks in some dams, but we saw there were no structural risks. This inspection is continuing in a very serious way. If there is any issue, we are ready to intervene immediately. We are inspecting all dams in the region."
Diplomats observe moment of silence at U.N. meeting
Diplomats from the 193 member countries of the United Nations stood in silent tribute Monday to victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi extended “our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences” to the government and people of both countries.
He then asked diplomats “to stand and observe a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives.”
Kőrösi spoke at the start of a meeting to hear Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outline his priorities for 2023.
Syria closes schools for the rest of the week
Syria’s Ministry of Education said that all kindergarten, public, private, Sharia and vocational schools will be suspended for the rest of the week.
The Minister of Education said in a statement to SANA, a Syrian state-controlled news agency, that after examining the condition of schools and the impact of the earthquake on citizens, schools would be closed through the end of this week.
Death toll jumps to 2,452 in Turkey and Syria
The number of people believed to have been killed in powerful earthquakes that hit Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday jumped to 2,452, according to officials in both countries.
According to Turkey's disaster and emergency management office, 1,541 people died in Turkey. Meanwhile, 9,733 were injured and 3,471 buildings collapsed.
Government-controlled areas of Syria saw 461 deaths and 1,326 injuries, according to that country's health ministry. Rebel-held areas of the northwest recorded 450 deaths, and 1,000 injuries, according to the White Helmets volunteer rescue group.
Aid groups organize to support victims in Turkey and Syria
The Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children and other aid groups have put out requests for aid as they send teams to help victims in Turkey and Syria after powerful earthquakes and aftershocks struck the region.
Turkish Red Crescent teams, part of the Red Cross network in the Middle East, deployed about 900 people to provide hot meals, medical support and psychological aid to families, the group said. They had also sent blood and plasma and put out a call across Turkey for blood donations. Syrian Red Crescent teams said they had also responded since the early morning hours to provide life-saving first aid and help with medical evacuations.
The groups said there was a need for tents, heaters, warm clothing, food and basic first aid.
The International Blue Crescent, another relief group, said it was screening through social media calls for rescues from those trapped in collapsed buildings and sending help. The World Health Organization said it was scrambling medical teams to render essential health care for the many who were injured in the quakes.
UNICEF and Save the Children's teams said they were focused on kids in both countries who may be trapped, separated from families or were left cold and hungry. In the near term, the groups said they were concerned about child protection, accessing clean drinking water and nutrition. They also noted that the earthquakes will cause schools to remain closed for an indefinite period, so education will also be a growing worry for families.
Newcastle United ex-player Christian Atsu feared trapped under rubble
Newcastle United of the English Premier League has voiced fears for the fate of former player Christian Atsu, who is reportedly among those trapped under the rubble in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras.
The Ghanaian international spent several years with Newcastle and Chelsea before signing with Turkish side Hatayspor last summer.
“Praying for some positive news,” his former club Newcastle said in a social media post.
The 7.5 and 7.8 magnitude earthquakes weren't the only temblors to strike Turkey Monday. Dozens of quakes have hit the region within the last 24 hours, according the U.S. Geological Survey, including four at magnitude 6 or stronger.
The strongest, at 7.8 magnitude, could be felt throughout the region.
130 aftershocks rock Turkey
Some 130 aftershocks have hit Turkey after a powerful early morning earthquake struck the southeastern part of the country, state broadcaster TRT reported, citing the country's disaster and emergency management office.
In the provinces of Hatay, Antep, Malatya, Adıyaman and Kahramanmaraş, and across the country, bridges, roads and tunnels had collapsed and were closed to traffic, Turkey's General Directorate of Highways said.
Photos: Rescue efforts underway in Syrian city of Aleppo
Locals watch as rescue teams search for survivors beneath the rubble of a collapsed building, after an earthquake struck the regime-controlled northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday.
Turkey closes schools for a week
Turkey's government is shutting schools across the country until Feb. 13 as it grapples with the massive earthquakes that struck on Monday.
“All schools in Turkey will be closed for a week,” Education Minister Mahmut Özer said, according to state-run Anadolu Agency (AA).
Photos: Anguish as rescuers sift through demolished buildings
A woman reacts as rescuers search for survivors through the rubble of collapsed buildings in Adana, Turkey, on Monday after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country’s southeast.
U.N. 'stands ready to support emergency response efforts'
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres offered "heartfelt condolences" to families of the earthquake victims Monday and said the U.N. is prepared to assist.
Search and rescue, paramedics and a satellite: How the world is helping
While several world leaders have offered assistance in the wake of the devastation, some have already acted on their pledges to help.
European Union Commission spokesperson Balazs Ujvari said Monday that the commission was mobilizing more than 10 search-and-rescue teams from several member states — including from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania — to assist in Turkey. Hungary, Italy, Spain, Malta and Slovakia have also offered support, Ujvari said.
The E.U. has also activated its Copernicus satellite system "to provide emergency mapping services to the Turkish authorities," Ujvari said at a news conference.
"We of course remain in touch with the Turkish authorities and we will coordinate further support as needed," Ujvari told reporters.
Israel and Ukraine are also among the E.U. member states sending rescue teams and medical aid to Turkey, with Israel also sending help to Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters.
The U.K.'s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said it is sending 76 search and rescue specialists to Turkey, along with search dogs, rescue equipment and an emergency medical team. The country is also in touch with the U.N. regarding providing emergency aid to Syria, the FCDO said, adding that the country's White Helmets are currently leading its search and rescue response.
India and Japan are also sending search and rescue teams to Turkey.
Pope Francis offers condolences, prays for emergency personnel
Pope Francis offered condolences Monday, saying he was "deeply saddened to learn of the huge loss of life" after back-to-back earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
In a statement from the Vatican shared on Telegram, the pope extended "heartfelt condolences" to those in mourning. He added that he prayed that emergency personnel would be "sustained in their care of the injured and in the ongoing relief efforts by the divine gifts of fortitude and perseverance."
His message joins a chorus of condolences and offers of assistance from leaders worldwide.
Photo: Injured pulled from wreckage in Syria
Residents retrieve an injured man from the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in the Syrian town of Jandaris, in the rebel-held part of Aleppo province on Monday.
Death toll rises to more than 2,200
The death toll in Monday's earthquakes has risen to at least 2,249, according to officials, who warned the numbers are expected to rise.
In Turkey, at least 1,498 people are dead, with at least 8,533 injured, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
In Syria, at least 371 people have died, with another 1,089 injured in affected areas.
At least 380 people have died and 1,000 injured in Syria's rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
Photo: A Syrian father weeps over the body of his infant son
A Syrian man weeps as he carries the body of his son who was killed in an earthquake in the town of Jandaris, in the rebel-held part of Aleppo province, on Monday.
Turkish lira sinks to record low
The Turkish lira hit a record low following the earthquakes, Reuters reported.
The lira fell to 18.85 in early trade before retracing most of its losses, the news agency said.
Borsa Istanbul, the country's exchange entity, announced early Monday a temporary pause to transactions in shares of companies located in the earthquake zone, Reuters reported.
The country has already been dealing with soaring inflation for years.
Death toll in earthquakes rises past 1,870
The death toll from Monday's earthquakes has risen to at least 1,872 people dead, according to officials.
In Turkey, at least 1,121 people were dead and 7,634 injured, according to the Disaster Emergency Management Authority. At least 2,824 buildings had also collapsed, with more than 9,600 search and rescue personnel deployed, it said.
In Syria, at least 371 people had died, with at least 1,089 injured in affected areas, according to the Syrian Health Ministry.
Photo: Flattened buildings in northwestern Syria
Residents searching for victims and survivors amid the rubble of collapsed buildings following an earthquake in the village of Besnia in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province on Monday.
Earthquake hits northwestern Syria during harsh winter
In Syria, the earthquake has affected a region already hit hard by war and winter.
Millions have been displaced as the nation has been ravaged by nearly 12 years of civil war, placing health facilities under severe strain.
The country’s northwest is divided between government-held territory, and the last opposition-held enclave centered in Idlib province, raising concerns that international rescue efforts could be slowed and that an already dire humanitarian situation could be exacerbated.
The Syrian American Medical Society told NBC News four of their hospitals had been damaged and evacuated. “The conditions in our hospitals are catastrophic,” the aid group said.
In winter, Idlib — which has been under siege for years and bombarded with frequent Russian and government airstrikes — is battered by floods, torrential rains and strong winds that often destroy tents and food supplies, leaving many homeless, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
In the emergency ward of Bab al-Hawa hospital in the rebel-held northern countryside of Idlib province, emergency workers in scrubs were surrounded by casualties lying on the bare floor, some on stretchers still covered with the blankets they slept in as their building came crashing down on them.
Biden: U.S. will 'provide any and all needed assistance'
President Joe Biden joined a slate of international leaders who offered support to Turkey and Syria in the wake of Monday's devastation.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria," Biden tweeted. "I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye and provide any and all needed assistance."
Thousands facing extreme cold, displacement, International Rescue Committee says
Thousands of people in Turkey and Syria are now facing extreme cold and displacement, warned the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization.
"This earthquake is yet another devastating blow to so many vulnerable populations already struggling after years of conflict," said the organization's Syria director, Tanya Evans, calling it "a crisis within multiple crises."
In Syria, the country's long-decimated and overburdened health care system will be faced with treating potentially thousands of injured people, Evans added. The northwest region recently dealt with a cholera outbreak, further burdening its health care system.
Volunteer rescuer calls for help for Syrian 'disaster area'
A member of the famed White Helmets volunteer force called for the world to help rebel-held areas in Syria on Monday after a massive earthquake hit the region.
“We need help,” Ismail Alabdullah said in the video posted to the White Helmet’s Twitter account, his voice trembling.
Alabdullah has frequently spoken for the White Helmets — the opposition emergency organization. Standing in front of a water-logged road in front of buildings reduced to piles of brown rubble, he said volunteers were trying to save as many lives as they could, but many families were still trapped under the rubble.
“We need the international community to do something, to help us, to support us. Northwestern Syria is now a disaster area. We need help from everyone to save our people,” he added.
Photo: Victims pulled from the rubble in Syria
Rescue workers carry an earthquake victim as they search through the wreckage of collapsed buildings in Hama, Syria.
Photos: Rescue efforts in the Turkish city of Kahta
High school teacher Ismet Yilmaz was staying in a student dormitory in the southern Turkish city of Kahta when the earthquake struck, forcing him, his family and his students rushing outside into the freezing cold.
"We woke up the students and went outside," Yilmaz, 44, told NBC News from a car he and his wife and three daughters were sheltering in.
“I’m in the car right now and the car keeps rocking,” the Turkish language and literature teacher said in a message on Instagram.
Search teams were sifting through the rubble on Monday morning after many buildings were destroyed when suddenly his car shook from a second large quake, he said.
Zelenskyy says Ukraine ready to provide assistance
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his country's support to Turkey following Monday's devastating earthquake.
"I express my sincere condolences to the President @RTErdogan, to the people and families of the victims of the earthquake in the southeast," Zelenskyy said in a tweet early Monday. "I wish a speedy recovery to all the victims. In this difficult time, we will be close to the (Turkish) people."
"Ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster," he said.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, reiterated Zelenskyy's support, writing: "Ukraine stands ready to send a large group of rescue workers to Türkiye to assist crisis response."
"We are working closely with the Turkish side to coordinate their deployment," he said.
Photos: Medics respond in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province
TV reporter runs as second quake hits live on air
Video has been shared on Turkish TV showing a news team reporting on the huge early morning earthquake being forced to flee as a second temblor strikes.
At 1:25 p.m. (5:25 a.m. ET) the reporter is shown standing in a built-up street in the eastern city of Malatya, which was already covered in debris and dust, as a small crowd of people surveys the damage.
Soon sirens begin to sound, shouts are heard and then a crashing roar reverberates as the crowd and reporting team run for safety. A cloud of dust rises around them.
It's unclear whether the apparent building collapse was caused by the second earthquake reported Monday at around the same time. The broadcaster, A Haber, said damaged buildings fell down as an aftershock hit.
Massive new quake rocks Turkey and Syria as death toll rises to more than 1,300
A massive new earthquake hit southern Turkey on Monday, hours after a 7.8-magnitude quake killed more than 1,300 people in the country and neighboring Syria, with scores more trapped in the rubble.
Residents joined rescuers to search for survivors in freezing conditions, with the death toll expected to increase as the level of destruction became clear from the initial powerful pre-dawn temblor.
A 7.5-magnitude temblor then hit about 100 miles north of Gaziantep at a depth of 6 miles or so at 1:24 p.m. local time (5:24 a.m. ET), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Photos: Rush to rescue survivors after buildings collapse in Syrian city of Aleppo
Locals watch as rescue teams search for survivors beneath the rubble of a collapsed building after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the regime-controlled northern Syrian city of Aleppo early on Monday.
World leaders offer condolences and support after quake
Prime ministers and presidents across the world have been quick to offer support and solidarity to Turkey and Syria as both nations reel from Monday's earthquake. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 45 countries had offered to help with search and rescue operations.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet he was "anguished" by the loss of life and immediately offered assistance.
Similar offers of condolence and assistance were made by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
Support was also offered to Turkey and Syria by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a message on the Kremlin's website.
Photos: Children treated for injuries in rebel-held Syria
Children injured in a morning earthquake receive treatment at al-Rahma hospital in the Syrian town of Darkush on the outskirts of the rebel-held province of Idlib on Monday.
New massive quake hits Turkey and Syria
A second massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake has hit southeastern Turkey, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said.
Quake kills 912 and injures more than 5,000 in Turkey, Erdogan says
At least 912 people were killed and 5,383 injured in Turkey in Monday's magnitude-7.8 earthquake, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan said it was the country’s largest disaster since 1939, adding that 2,818 buildings had collapsed in the earthquake and aftershocks.
“Nine thousand personnel are currently carrying out search and rescue operations, and this number is constantly increasing with those who reach the region from outside,” he added. “We do not know how far the number of dead and injured will rise, as debris removal works continue in many buildings in the earthquake zone.”
The number of people rescued was 2,818, he added, speaking on state television.
Photos: Desperate efforts to find survivors in southern Turkey
Local men help rescue workers as they try to move a large piece of debris after a building collapsed in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on Monday, trapping residents underneath the rubble. A man weeps during the search for survivors in Diyarbakir after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck.
WHO concerned about some areas of Turkey after earthquake — official
GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it was concerned about areas in Turkey from which there had been no news following a deadly earthquake overnight.
“National authorities will be focussing on search and rescue at the moment,” a WHO spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. “Then we will expect an increased need for trauma care to treat the injured and to support the entire health system in affected areas.”
Historic castle dating back to the Roman empire partially destroyed
An imposing castle in the city of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, which sits on a site that can be traced back to the ancient Hittite empire, has been left in ruins by Monday's devastating earthquake.
The castle was developed and expanded by the Romans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The Byzantine empire in the 6th century added the 12 towers surrounding the inner keep.
A popular tourist spot, the remarkably well-preserved castle also housed the Gaziantep Defense and Heroism Panoramic Museum, which told the story of the site's central role in the Turkish war of independence following the World War I.
The most recently renovation began in 2020, when a series of ancient underground tunnels was discovered.
NATO allies 'mobilizing support now,' secretary general says
Photos: Historic Gaziantep Castle badly damaged in quake
The historic Gaziantep Castle appears badly damaged after a huge earthquake struck the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep.
A similar view shows the castle in November 2021.
Turkey's Iskenderun port damaged from quake
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s maritime authority said on Monday that the Iskenderun port located in the southern Turkish province of Hatay is damaged due to the major earthquake.
Following its damage inspections, the authority said on Twitter that operations continue in ports besides Iskenderun.
Photos: Syrian first responders rush to help in northern Idlib
Victims are rushed to the emergency ward of the Bab al-Hawa hospital in the rebel-held northern countryside of Syria’s Idlib province on the border with Turkey. Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, transport an injured person pulled from the rubble in Shalakh village in Idlib’s early on Monday.
France's Emmanuel Macron offers help to quake-struck region
"Terrible images come to us from Turkey and Syria after an earthquake of unprecedented force," France's president wrote on Twitter. "France stands ready to provide emergency aid to the populations on the spot. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families."
Photo: Dramatic rescue of infant in Syria's Idlib province
A member of the Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer force also known as the White Helmets, carries a child rescued from the rubble in the town of Zardana in the northwestern Idlib province early on Monday.
Death toll rises to more than 660
At least 668 people have been killed in the quake, according to the latest figures.
At a news conference, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed at least 284 had been killed in the country.
At least 237 more were killed in government-controlled areas of Syria, according to the country’s health ministry. At least 147 people were killed in rebel-held areas, according to the White Helmets.
That takes the combined death toll across the two borders to at least 668, with fears it may still rise substantially with scores injured and rescue workers and residents sifting through the rubble.
Map shows where the earthquake hit
Hundreds dead after massive earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake left more than 600 people dead and many trapped as it toppled buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday.