After a second earthquake struck Turkey and killed at least six people, rescuers are once again searching for people buried beneath the rubble.
A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck near the city of Antakya near the border with Syria on February 6, the same day that massive earthquakes devastated both countries.
Earlier earthquakes in Turkey and Syria killed 44,000 people and displaced tens of thousands more.
On Monday, structures weakened by these earthquakes collapsed in both countries.
According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency, the magnitude 6.4 quake struck at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
Three minutes later, a 5.8 aftershock occurred, followed by 31 subsequent aftershocks of lesser magnitude.
Dr. Fahrettin Koca, the minister of health, stated that 294 people have been injured, 18 of them seriously.
It is believed that the death toll was relatively low this time because the quake occurred in an area that had been largely abandoned since the quake on February 6th.
According to reports from the city of Antakya, the streets were filled with fear and panic as ambulances and rescue teams attempted to reach the worst-affected areas, where the walls of severely damaged buildings had collapsed.
“I thought the earth was going to split open beneath my feet,” Muna al-Omar, a local resident, told Reuters while crying and holding her seven-year-old son. She was in a tent in a park in the city center when the latest tremors struck.
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Ali Mazlum, age 18, told the AFP news agency that he was searching for the bodies of family members killed in previous earthquakes when the most recent quake struck.
“You don’t know what to do… we grabbed each other, and the walls began to collapse in front of us,” he said.
Caption: Rescue teams work on a collapsed structure in Hatay, Turkey.
PHOTO SOURCE: REUTERS
Antakya, the capital of Turkey’s Hatay Province, was among the areas most severely affected by the February 6 earthquake.
The most recent earthquake in the city of Adana drove residents to a volleyball court that had been converted into a rescue center after the initial tremor.
The authorities told the that they believe as many as 600 people may have arrived overnight in search of a sturdy building on the ground floor.
People reportedly ran out into the streets rather than staying put during the earthquake, indicating that there is still significant fear two weeks after the initial disaster.
Approximately 470 injured Syrians reportedly visited hospitals following Monday’s earthquakes, which were also reportedly felt in Egypt and Lebanon.
During a Monday visit to Turkey, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $100 million (£83 million) in humanitarian aid and pledged that the United States would assist with earthquake recovery “for as long as it takes.”
It is one of several nations that have offered assistance following the initial earthquake.
All but two areas had recently ended their rescue operations, and the prospects of finding survivors are rapidly diminishing.