In Syria, earthquake kills more than 100, injures hundreds

Rescuers carry the body of a casualty at the site of a damaged building, following an earthquake, in rebel-held Azaz, Syria February 6, 2023. REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano

DAMASCUS (Reuters) -A major earthquake killed dozens and injured hundreds Syria early on Monday, a senior health official said, as homes and historic buildings in north and west came crashing down.

Deputy health minister Ahmad Damirieh told state television that at least 110 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the Syrian regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartous.

The earthquake killed at least 76 people in neighbouring Turkey.

Across Syria's affected areas, buildings have already been severely damaged and left structurally unsound by nearly 12 years of heavy bombardment.

"Until now, paramedic teams and fire rescue teams, as well as the Red Crescent, are doubling their efforts to save those affected and those stuck under the rubble," said Damirieh.

President Bashar al-Assad was holding an emergency cabinet meeting to review the damage and discuss the next steps, his office said.

State television showed footage of rescue teams in heavy rain and sleet searching for survivors. Health officials advised people to stay outside and were asking the public to help take injured people to emergency rooms.

"All public and private hospitals are on alert. Wounded people are still arriving in waves," Aleppo's health director, Ziad Hage Taha, told Reuters by telephone.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Aleppo posted photographs of blocks of stone that had crashed down onto its mezzanine.

In a part of the Aleppo countryside controlled by rebel groups, members of the Syrian civil defence known as the White Helmets could be seen carrying a bloodied, wailing baby out of a collapsed building.

Another group carried a body wrapped in a white sheet as a crane pulled away slabs of concrete in the town of Azaz, a Reuters witness said.

Cinderblocks had dropped from multi-storey buildings in a marketplace and smashed into a silver van.

In an online statement, the White Helmets declared a state of emergency in the opposition-held northwest where they operate, saying stormy weather was compounding the problem.

The group said it had no toll of dead and injured but estimated that dozens had been killed.

(Reporting by Kinda Makieh, Timour Azhari and Maya Gebeily; Writing by Clauda Tanios and Timour Azhari; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Death toll from Ecuador landslide deaths rises to 17, over 70 remain missing
Boeing announces donations to assist with tornado recovery in Mississippi, Alabama
Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, March 30
Family of Salvadoran killed in deadly Mexico fire calls for justice
Trump criminally charged in New York, a first for a US ex-president
Arrests made in deadly fire at Mexico detention center
Turkish parliament ratifies Finland's NATO accession as Sweden kept waiting
U.S. agricultural futures fall
U.S. stocks rise as key inflation report looms
Self-scanning trend on the decline in Sweden due to thefts

Others Also Read