Death toll surpasses 15,000, officials say

February 9, 2023 4:20 pm

Monday’s quake was centered in Turkey’s southeastern Kahramanmaras province.

More than 15,000 people are dead after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria early Monday, according to officials.

The pre-dawn quake was centered in the town of Pazarcik in Turkey’s southeastern Kahramanmaras province and was followed by several powerful aftershocks. Thousands of buildings were toppled on both sides of the border, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched for survivors in the massive piles of rubble.

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Turkey Emergency Management (AFAD) is reporting 12,391 deaths from the earthquake in Turkey, while the Syrian Health Ministry and White Helmets say 2,962 people are dead in Syria.

According to Turkey Emergency Management, there have been 62,914 people injured in Turkey.

Three U.S. citizens have been identified as among the more than 12,000 victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria this week, the State Department confirmed Wednesday.

“We can confirm reports of at least three U.S. citizens killed in southeastern Türkiye,” a State Department spokesperson said. “Our staff in Türkiye and here in the United States are working tirelessly to provide consular assistance to these victims and their family members.”

The State Department is working closely with local authorities and other partner organizations to assist U.S. citizens in affected areas, the spokesperson added.