Watch: Buildings collapse as 3 massive earthquakes hit Turkey

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Turkey was hit by three powerful earthquakes in 24 hours. On Monday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake centered in Pazarcik district struck Kahramanmaras and hit several provinces including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis, according to the Anadolu Agency report. Later that day, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake centered in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras rocked the region. The earthquake was also felt in several neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria. Later, another magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck central Turkey.

According to the latest report, more than 4,000 people have died so far due to the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Numerous videos shared by users on social networks showed that many buildings collapsed in many cities in Turkey. One of those videos was shared from the city of Sanliurfa. A multi-story apartment building collapsed into the street in a cloud of dust as bystanders screamed, video showed.

Another video captured the terrifying moment of a building collapse in Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş.

CCTV video from a shop near the city of Gaziantep reportedly captured the powerful quake which lasted about 90 seconds.

The rescue operation in Turkey is underway as they hope to pull more survivors from the rubble after three earthquakes that toppled thousands of buildings across a wide region. Survivors screamed for help from mountains of rubble as rescuers battled through rain and snow. Workers carefully removed concrete slabs and reached for bodies as desperate families waited for news of their loved ones.

Thousands were left homeless by the cold. In the Turkish city of Gaziantep, a provincial capital about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the epicenter, people took refuge in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the country was rocked by the “greatest earthquake disaster” since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake.

According to the Associated Press, thousands of buildings have reportedly collapsed in a wide area stretching from the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Hama to Diyarbakir in Turkey, more than 330 kilometers (200 miles) to the northeast. In Turkey alone, more than 5,600 buildings were destroyed, authorities said. Hospitals were damaged and one collapsed in the city of Iskenderun. Temperatures dropped to near freezing overnight, worsening conditions for people trapped under the rubble or left homeless.

In Kahramanmaras, north of Hatay, entire families gathered around campfires and wrapped themselves in blankets to keep warm.

Many governments have rushed to send aid, personnel and equipment to assist in the rescue efforts in the quake-hit areas of Turkey and Syria.

The European Union has mobilized search and rescue teams to help Turkey, while the 27-nation bloc’s Copernicus satellite system has been activated to provide emergency mapping services. At least 13 member countries have offered assistance.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration was sending two 79-person urban search and rescue teams to support Turkey’s efforts. India has also dispatched Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities. The first batch of earthquake relief material left for Turkey, along with NDRF search and rescue teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other necessary equipment.

Britain is sending 76 search and rescue specialists with teams and dogs, as well as an emergency medical team, to Turkey. The UK also says it is in contact with the UN to get support for the victims in Syria. The Red Cross Society of China is providing the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Crescent with $200,000 each in cash humanitarian assistance. The society said on Tuesday it would send more humanitarian aid if necessary.

The region sits on major fault lines and is frequently rocked by earthquakes. Some 18,000 people died in equally powerful earthquakes that struck northwestern Turkey in 1999.

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