ADDS MORE INFORMATION BY VICE PRESIDENT; TURKISH DISASTER AGENCY; RENEWED NUMBERS
By Anadolu staff
ANKARA/ISTANBUL (AA) - At least 284 people were killed and 2,323 others injured in 10 provinces after a strong earthquake jolted southern Türkiye on Monday morning, Vice President Fuat Oktay said.
A total of 1,710 buildings were collapsed after the earthquake, Oktay said at a news conference.
Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the 7.4 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 a.m. (0117GMT) and was centered in the Pazarcik district in Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras. The quake occurred at a depth of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
AFAD said in a statement that 78 aftershocks occurred following the earthquake.
Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis provinces are heavily affected by the quake.
"Our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) has been following and managing the event since the moment of the earthquake," Oktay said.
He added that Hatay Airport is currently closed to flights, saying they have also closed Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep to civil flights.
The vice president also said all schools in these 10 provinces are closed for a week.
"102 mobile base stations have been sent to the earthquake zones so far," Oktay said.
He also called on all media organizations, institutions, and organizations to rely on official statements in order not to cause information pollution.
The initial earthquake was also felt in neighboring countries including Lebanon and Syria.
- Rescue teams on alert
Erdogan conveyed get well wishes to citizens affected by the earthquake. He added that AFAD and other units are “on alert.”
The president noted that rescue teams were immediately dispatched to areas affected by the earthquake.
"Our Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, AFAD, provincial governorships, and all other institutions started their work rapidly.
"We are also coordinating our work after the earthquake. We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage, and we continue our work," he said.
Türkiye issued a level-4 alarm, which includes a call for international aid, the AFAD said in the statement.
AFAD also said following a discussion with the Turkish Foreign Ministry that international assistance was called for the search and rescue through the ERCC (Emergency Response Coordination Centre).
"Assistance offers were received from many countries, especially the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, the UK," it added.
Meanwhile, the health personnel assigned from the National Defense Ministry and the Health Ministry departed from Ankara to the region with two military ambulance planes.
Besides rescue teams, blankets, food, and psychological support team were also sent to the region.