New 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits southern Turkey

New 6.4 magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey


Two new earthquakes of magnitudes 6.4 and 5.8 were recorded Monday evening in the Turkish province of Hatay (south), the most affected by the earthquake of February 6 which killed more than 41,000 people in Turkey, Turkish relief agency Afad reported.

The relief agency on Twitter called on people to stay away from the coast as a precaution, warning of the risk of submersion.

The province of Hatay borders the Mediterranean, with the city of Antakya inland and the major cargo port of Iskenderun on the coast.

The first earthquake, of magnitude 6.4, whose epicenter was located in Defne, a district about fifteen minutes by car – in normal times – from Antakya, occurred at 8.04 p.m. and was very violently felt by the AFP teams in Antakya and Adana, 200 km further north.  

It was followed three minutes later by a new earthquake of magnitude 5.8 in Samandag, a coastal locality south of Antakya, reported Afad, which fears “a rise in sea level of up to 50 cm The tremors were also felt in the Aleppo region, in northwestern Syria, reported AFP correspondents on the spot who saw the panicked population leaving their homes. and get out in the streets.

Damaged sections of the building have collapsed, a photographer said.

In Antakya too, the tremor caused a movement of panic among the already hard-hit population and raised large clouds of dust in the ruined city.

“The earth in the process of opening up” 

In a square in the center of Antakya, Ali Mazloum, an 18-year-old Syrian, testified to AFP about the intensity of this earthquake.

“We were with the 'Afad searching for the bodies of our loved ones when the tremor surprised us. You don't know what to do,” he said.

“We grabbed each other and right in front of us the walls started to come down. We had the impression that the earth was opening up to swallow us.”

Not far away, a backhoe loader with full headlights was busy clearing a two-lane avenue, covered with rubble. . “This one just fell,” a rescuer told AFP, pointing to the remains of a collapsed building.

An AFP journalist saw and heard several sections of the walls of already badly damaged buildings crumble and several people, apparently injured, calling for help.

Ali, who has lived in Antakya for twelve years , is still looking for the bodies of his sister and her family, as well as those of his brother-in-law and his family who have been missing for fourteen days.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went on Monday to the province of Hatay, bordering Syria, one of the eleven provinces of southern Turkey affected by the earthquake of February 6 and one of the only two with Kahramanmaras where research and excavations are continue.

The Turkish authorities arrested them everywhere else on Sunday and the hope of finding survivors is practically non-existent after fourteen days.

According to the head of state, more than 118,000 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged.

Afad claims that more than 6,000 aftershocks were recorded since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated southern Turkey and Syria exactly two weeks ago.