The death toll has surpassed 2,300 after a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria around 4:17 am on Monday. Both countries have declared a state of emergency as rescue efforts move to find survivors trapped under rubble, reports the Times of Israel.
A second 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck a few minutes later at 4:24 am approximately 60 miles north of the first quake's epicenter, which was centered in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Turkey, according to the Daily Mail.
The first quake's depth was up to 10 miles according to the US Geological Survey and had aftershocks reaching 6.7 on the Richter Scale. Tremors reverberated as far away as Israel and Cairo in Egypt.
CBS reports that UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said "We stand ready to provide further support as needed." A total of 76 search and rescue specialists have been dispatched from the UK to help with the efforts.
Almost immediately after the quake hit, Turkey asked the European Civil Project and Humanitarian Aid Operations for assistance and aid.
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."
"Turkey sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. Some 18,000 were killed in powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999," reports the Times of Israel.
On Twitter, users have shared photos of the devestation.
Jack Posobiec posted video of the quake causing a gas line explosion.
One user showed the rescue of a little girl from the rubble.
"The level of destruction caused by the earthquake in Turkey makes it look like a war zone. This is utterly heartbreaking. Pray for Turkey and especially for the people trapped under the rubble," another user wrote.
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