Heavy rain and snow in south-east Turkey batters evacuation

 Tuesday, February 7, 2023 


The rescuers are battling heavy rain and snow as they race against the clock to find survivors of a devastating earthquake in south-east Turkey.

More than 4,300 people were killed and 15,000 injured in Turkey and over the border in Syria when the quake struck in the early hours of Monday. The World Health Organization has warned the toll may rise dramatically as rescuers find more victims.

As day breaks rescue teams are stepping up their search for survivors. Many people in the disaster zone have been too scared to go back into buildings.

The 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 (01:17 GMT) on Monday at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep, according to the US Geological Survey.

The seismologists say it was one of the largest ever recorded in Turkey, where at least 2,921 people are now known to have died. Survivors say it took two minutes for the shaking to stop.

A later tremor had a magnitude of 7.5, and its epicentre was in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.

As dawn broke on Tuesday, traffic was at a standstill on the main highway to the Turkish city of Maras, close to the epicentre of the quake and believed to be one of the worst-affected areas. The cars occasionally crawled forward, the wet road illuminated by glowing red brake lights.

Few rescuers have made it to this part of southern Turkey yet and everyone is trying to get there as fast as they can to assess the damage and give vital help.

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