BREAKING: MASSIVE earthquake rocks Turkey, topples buildings

Footage out of the region show massive fires on the horizon, with reports that they could have been caused by ruptured gas lines.

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A massive earthquake hit Turkey early Monday, destroying buildings across Turkey and Syria and leveling the man-made landscape. The tremors, which were felt as far away as Israel, likely resulted in substantial casualties. 

The epicenter was near Gaziantep in the southeast, and hit at about 4:17 am, according to The New York Times. The depth was up to 10 miles, said the US Geological Survey, and aftershocks reached 6.7 on the Richter Scale.

Rescue efforts began shortly after the early morning quake, and Turkey asked the European Civil Project and Humanitarian Aid Operations for help. 

Footage out of the region show massive fires on the horizon, with reports that they could have been caused by ruptured gas lines.



Photos show complete devastation.





At least five people were killed in Osmaniye as 34 buildings collapsed, said provincial Governor Erdink Yilmaz.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, "The main impact of the earthquake fell on Kahramanmaras. After that, there were at least 22 aftershocks, 6 of magnitude over 6. The earthquake was felt in 10 provinces, including Kahramanmarash, Gaziantep, Khatai, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Diyarbakir.

"Two hours after the earthquake, several dozen dead are known. In many cities, multi-storey buildings have been destroyed; it is not yet possible to start clearing the rubble."



The Syrian Civil Defense declared a state of emergency, saying that dozens were trapped in northwestern Syria by dawn on Monday.



The Shrine of Sayyida Zaynab shook in Damascus.
 

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