Watch: Video shows thousands of collapsed buildings across the region after Turkey and Syria earthquake
Two massive earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 struck the Middle East on Monday; extraordinary cell phone footage shows the huge scale of destruction.
Two huge earthquakes hit the Middle East on Monday, with areas of northern Syria and southern Turkey suffering the greatest damage. Countries around the world are scrambling to offer support to a region that has been beset with conflict in recent years as a result of the Syrian civil war.
It is estimated that more than 4 million Syrians were relying on humanitarian aid even before the earthquakes struck. There are concerns that the country’s struggling healthcare system will be entirely overwhelmed by the scale of the shocks.
Footage shows extent of the damage
Residents affected by the earthquakes have shared footage online, detailing the thousands of collapsed buildings recorded right across the region. More than 9,000 rescue workers are thought to be involved in the response effort, with NATO and the European Union leading the humanitarian activities.
Across the world 45 nations have offered support to Turkey and Syria. Within two days of the quakes the official death toll had risen beyond 5,000 and that figure is expected to rise as the rescue effort continues.
President Erdogan warns of further death toll increases
Turkish President Erdogan stated that this earthquake is the most serious to strike the country since 1939, when a massive seismic event killed more than 30,000 people.
“Everyone is putting their heart and soul into efforts, although the winter season, cold weather and the earthquake happening during the night make things more difficult,” Erdogan said.
“We do not know how high the casualty numbers will go as efforts to lift the debris continue in several buildings in the earthquake zone.”
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