Turkey has declared a level four alert, which includes an appeal for international assistance.
Updated figures show that 284 people have already been killed and 2,323 injured in 10 provinces in Turkey as a result of the strong earthquake that hit the south of the country this morning, Anadolu reports.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 7 kilometers. It was followed by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in the southeastern province of Gaziantep. A third quake of magnitude 6.5 also hit Gaziantep.
The initial earthquake was also felt in neighboring countries, notably Lebanon and Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed condolences to relatives on Twitter, adding that emergency response units were “on standby”. He noted that rescue teams were immediately dispatched to areas affected by the earthquake.
“Our Interior Ministry and Health Ministry, AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority), provincial governorates, and all other agencies have quickly started their work”
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced the dispatch of cargo planes to the affected region. The country has declared a level four alert, including an appeal for international aid.
Gaziantep governor Davut Gul said 5775 buildings had collapsed across the city following the quake.
Updated 8 February According to Al Jazeera, the death toll from the earthquake in Syria has risen to 1932, with 3411 injured.
Updated 8 February According to Anadolu Agency, the number of victims of the earthquake in southeastern Turkey has increased to 6234, and 37,011 people were injured. This was announced by the head of the Emergency Situations Department Yunus Sezer.