According to a situation report released by UN aid coordination office OCHA, a massive earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday. The initial 7.8 magnitude quake struck close to Gaziantep, followed by another 7.5 magnitude earthquake several hours later, and those can be felt across Jordan, Israel and other neighboring countries.
This is Turkey's most powerful earthquake recorded since 1939 and the Government has since issued a Level 4 alarm, said the U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric. The earthquake also heavily impacted north-west Syria, a region where 4.1 million people depend on humanitarian assistance today. The death toll in both Turkey and Syria is expected to continue to rise as rescue efforts remain underway.
At this very difficult time, the scientific community of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk stands in strong solidarity with the Turkish and Syrian people and expresses deepest condolences for the loss of lives in the earthquake, wishing the injured a quick recovery.