New earthquakes in southern Turkey
Police transport injured man after an aftershock hit the city of Antakya in Hatay province 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, a Turkish relief agency Afad reported.
The relief agency on Twitter called on the population 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 Antakya. Iskenderun on the coast.
The first quake, of magnitude 6.4, whose epicenter was located in Defne, a district about fifteen minutes away by car – in normal times – from ;Antakya, occurred at 8:04 p.m. local time and was very strongly felt by 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, who fears a rise in the level of the sea level up to 50 cm.
The tremors were also felt in the Aleppo region in northwestern Syria, correspondents from Syria reported. AFP on the spot who saw the panicked population leaving their homes and going out into the streets.
Sects of damaged buildings have collapsed, said a photographer .
Wounded were evacuated within minutes of the aftershock that hit Atakya, Turkey.
In Antakya too, the tremor caused panic among the already hard-hit population and raised large clouds of dust in the ruined city.
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 Afad, which is looking for the bodies of our loved ones, when the earthquake surprised us. You don't know what to do, he confided.
We grabbed each other and right in front of us the walls started to come apart. ;collapse. It felt like 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 has just fallen, a rescue worker told AFP, pointing to the remains of a collapsed building.
An AFP journalist has saw and heard several sections of already badly damaged building walls crumble and several people, apparently injured, calling for help.
Ali, who has lived in Antakya for 12 years, is still searching 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 14 days.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday visited Syria's bordering province of Hatay, one of 11 provinces in southern Turkey affected by the earthquake. February 6 and one of only two, along with Kahramanmaras, where searches and excavations continue.
Turkish authorities arrested them everywhere else on Sunday and left them there hope of finding survivors is virtually non-existent after 14 days.
According to the Head of State, more than 118,000 buildings have been destroyed or severely damaged.
Afad says more than 6,000 aftershocks have been recorded since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated southern Turkey and Syria there To exactly two weeks.