Turkish President Erdogan declares a state of emergency in 10 provinces as rescuers continue to dig through the rubble in a race to find survivors of deadly quakes that hit Türkiye and neighbouring Syria on Monday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Rescuers in Türkiye and war-ravaged Syria have intensified searches, hoping to pull more survivors from the rubble after powerful earthquakes killed at least 5,894 people in Türkiye and toppled thousands of buildings across a wide region.

The quakes also affected neighbouring Syria, where at least 1,832 people were killed and at least 3,700 injured. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency — that will last for three months — in 10 provinces affected by the quake.

Here's the latest on the aftermath of powerful earthquakes that hit southeast Türkiye and northern Syria.

2120 GMT — Death toll rises in Türkiye and Syria

Death toll from earthquakes in southern Türkiye has soared to 5,894, with 34,810 people injured, Türkiye's Vice President Fuat Oktay said.

At least 1,832 people were killed and thousands injured in Syria, regime officials and rescuers said.

At least 812 people were killed and 1,449 people injured in the regime-held provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Idlib and Tartous.

At least 1,020 people were killed in opposition-held northwest and 3,700 injured with the toll expected to "rise dramatically," rescuers in the region said.

Meanwhile, rescuers were searching for survivors in a delicate operation amid inclement weather, said TRT World's Melinda Nucifora who is reporting from Türkiye's Kahramanmaras province, the epicentre of Monday's earthquakes. 

1915 GMT - Türkiye quake 'one of largest inland earthquakes in world'

"It was an unexpected big earthquake," said Professor Shinji Toda, a professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science at Japan-based Tohoku University.

"It is one of the largest inland earthquakes in the world," said Toda.

1900 GMT - Death toll in Türkiye climbs to over 5,400

Death toll from Monday's powerful earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye climbs to 5,434 while 31,777 others are injured, the country's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

1845 GMT - UN announces $25 million in humanitarian aid for Türkiye and Syria

The humanitarian aid will help provide urgent lifesaving assistance to the region, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at UN headquarters.

''The UN disaster assessment and coordination teams are in Adana today and mobilizing to Gaziantep tomorrow to support Türkiye's urban search and rescue teams,'' he said.

1805 GMT - Kosovo declares national mourning after Türkiye earthquakes

"In the face of such tragedies, we must stand by those who need support. The pain of the Turkish and Syrian people is ours too. Therefore, based on constitutional and legal powers, as a sign of state and citizen respect, I have declared Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, a State Mourning Day in the Republic of Kosovo," said Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani.

She added that Kosovo forces are already taking part in search and rescue operations.

1755 GMT - Turkish jets extinguish fire at quake-hit port of Iskenderun

Turkish jets have extinguished a major fire that broke out at the internationaI Iskenderun Port in southern province of Hatay, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said on Twitter that the blaze was put out by helicopters and aircraft belonging to Turkish land and air forces, respectively.

1650 GMT - Death toll in Türkiye climbs to over 4,500

Death toll from Monday's powerful earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye climbs to 4,544 while 26,725 others are injured, the country's disaster agency official said.

1530 GMT - 18,000 gendarmerie units, 10,000 police sent to affected region: Soylu

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated they have sent 18,000 gendarmerie forces and nearly 10,000 police officers to the region so far.

He also said they have given instructions for the dispatch of 10,000 gendarmerie units.

Türkiye is facing one of the biggest disasters in the history of the country and the state stands by its citizens with all its institutions, he added.

1520 GMT - NATO flags fly at half-staff in solidarity with Türkiye

NATO member states lowered their flags to half-staff at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels to show solidarity with Ankara.

"All flags at NATO Headquarters are at half-mast today in solidarity with our Ally #Türkiye," NATO said on Twitter, sharing a photo of the member states’ flags lowered in Brussels.

1510 GMT - Azerbaijan sends more help 

Azerbaijan is sending two planes carrying assistance personnel, materials, and a field hospital to Türkiye through Adana, one of the 10 provinces hit by two powerful earthquakes in the country's southeast. 

"The plane that will deliver the mobile field hospital and 41 professional medical and non-medical personnel to the brotherly country has left Heydar Aliyev International Airport for Adana," a statement by the Azerbaijani Emergency Situations Ministry said.

1450 GMT - Quakes moved Anatolian continent up to 10 metres: scientist

Speaking to Italy's state-run ANSA news agency, Alessandro Amato of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), said that the earthquakes activated a new fault line on the border between Türkiye and Syria, which caused a displacement of the ground up to 10 metres.

“There was a transcurrent movement,” he said, adding that the ground slipped horizontally along the two edges of the fault line with an orientation to the left, in the direction of the Aegean Sea.

Separately, Tina Larsen, a senior researcher with the National Geological Surveys of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), said the tremors from the earthquake were felt in Denmark and Greenland, according to Greenland KNR broadcaster.

1445 GMT - Japan to send second rescue team

Japan will send a second rescue and search team and more humanitarian aid to earthquake-hit Türkiye, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“The government of Japan will dispatch the second half of the Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) Urban Search and Rescue Team to Türkiye,” the ministry said.

"Japan will continue to further assess the damage on the ground and consider necessary assistance based on the needs of the Turkish government," the ministry added.

1435 GMT - Spain mobilising field hospital, healthcare professionals

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares announced that the Spanish Technical Aid Response Team (START) field hospital will be mobilized to Türkiye to "attend to those injured in the earthquake."

"Professionals from the national health system will take part," Albares said on Twitter.

He added that Spain will also contribute to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' efforts and activate emergency agreements with non-governmental organizations in Syria.

1433 GMT - Turkish lawmaker, family killed in earthquake

A lawmaker from Türkiye’s Justice and Development (AK) Party was killed in an earthquake that hit the country's southeastern region, officials said. 

Yakup Tas’s body was found alongside his wife, sister, sister-in-law, nephew, niece and a grandchild in Adiyaman province after search and rescue teams found the family.

1345 GMT - Hungary to send another rescue team

Hungary will send another search and rescue team comprising 46 people to quake-hit Türkiye, the foreign minister said.

"Three civil rescue organizations will arrive in Türkiye with the help of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The initial days are of great importance for rescue survivors," he added.

Peter Szijjarto said Hungary will provide all kind of support to Türkiye in such a difficult time.

We are currently at AFAD’s crisis management centre in Gaziantep, we have felt the building shake several times. Aftershocks continue more than 24 hours after the initial quake.

TRT World’s correspondent Ezgi Toper

1304 GMT - Ukrainian leader extends condolences 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy conveyed his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the deadly earthquakes that hit the country's southeastern region.

In a phone call with Erdogan, Zelenskyy expressed sympathy for those who lost their lives in the quakes, and wished recovery to the injured, Türkiye's Communications Directorate said in a statement.

1257 GMT - Recent quakes in Türkiye, Syria could affect up to 23M, says WHO

Monday's powerful earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria could affect up to 23 million people, including 1.4 million children, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) estimate.

Türkiye had a strong capacity to tackle the crisis that emerged following the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes that shook its southeastern provinces, WHO's senior emergencies officer Adelheid Marschang told the UN health agency's executive committee earlier in Geneva.

"This is a crisis on top of multiple crises in the affected region," Marschang said of Syria, noting the country's needs were mounting after "nearly 12 years of protracted, complex crisis, while humanitarian funding continues to decline."

1255 GMT - South Korea, Bangladesh to dispatch rescue, medical teams to Türkiye

The South Korean team leading to Türkiye will comprise more than 60 members of the Korea Disaster Relief Team and 50 military personnel, Yonhap News Agency said, citing the Foreign Ministry.

Seoul also plans to offer $5 million as emergency humanitarian assistance, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh also announced sending two rescue teams to support the friendly country of Türkiye.

1240 GMT-  European aid, rescue teams arrive in Türkiye

Under the EU’s emergency response mechanism, 11 teams have already arrived in Türkiye to assist in aid and rescue efforts, with 16 more on their way, the European Commission announced.

Nineteen EU member states – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Greek Cypriot administration, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain – sent rescue teams, as well as associate countries Montenegro and Albania.

“In total, 1,185 rescuers and 79 search dogs have been offered by the European countries. These numbers could rise further,” said a European Commission statement.

1240 GMT - In just hours, Turkish community in UK collects 10 tonnes of aid

The Turkish community across the UK has come together to support people affected by powerful earthquakes, collecting 10 tons of aid materials and winter supplies in one day to send to the country.

"Everyone was struggling to help here, and this was a morale booster in such difficult days," he added.

1215 GMT - Foreign missions in Türkiye lower their flags to half-mast

The embassies and foreign missions of many countries in the Turkish capital Ankara lowered their flags to half-staff and shared messages of solidarity following Monday’s powerful earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye.

The gesture came after Türkiye declared seven days of national mourning in the wake of the deadly quakes.

"In solidarity with Türkiye, we lowered our flag to show our respect to those who lost their lives and were injured in the tragic earthquakes. Condolences to Türkiye, get well soon Türkiye," the US Embassy in Ankara said on social media.

1205 GMT - Kyrgyzstan opens deposit account to raise funds for earthquake victims

Kyrgyzstan said that it has opened a single deposit account to raise funds to help the earthquake victims.

“Anyone wishing to assist in overcoming the consequences of a natural disaster can transfer funds to the details of this account,” a statement by the Kyrgyz presidency read.

1200 GMT Pakistan's premier sets up relief fund

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has set up a relief fund to support the victims of massive earthquakes that jolted the southeastern region of Türkiye.

As a first step, the members of the federal Cabinet have announced to donate one-month salary to the relief fund.

Sharif urged the people of Pakistan, mainly philanthropists, to "generously" extend a helping hand to the earthquake victims.

1200 GMT - State of emergency declared in 10 provinces in Türkiye

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces hit by the massive quakes.

President Erdogan said the state of emergency will last for three months. 

1150 GMT - 55 Palestinians killed in Türkiye-Syria earthquakes

At least 55 Palestinians were killed in the two powerful earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria, according to a Palestinian diplomat.

Ahmed El Deek, a political adviser to the foreign minister, said 14 Palestinians were killed in Türkiye while 41 others lost their lives in Syria.

1140 GMT - UNESCO concerned about World Heritage Sites

UNESCO said it was saddened by the "collapse of several buildings" at the World Heritage site of the Diyarbakir Fortress and the adjacent Hevsel Gardens in Türkiye.

It emphasized that the entire area was an important centre of the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods.

With weather conditions and the remote nature of the areas making access and information hard to come by, UNESCO said other sites on the World Heritage list not far from the epicentre could be affected.

It said these included the famed neolithic site of Gobekli Tepe in Sanliurfa province, home to the world's oldest known megaliths some 10,000 years old.

UNESCO is also concerned about the Nemrut Dag site, one of Türkiye's most iconic attractions due to the giant statues that are part of an ancient royal tomb erected high on a mountain, it said.

The third site is the neo-Hittite archaeological site of Arslantepe outside Malatya, a city also badly hit by the earthquake.

"UNESCO is mobilising its experts, to establish a precise inventory of the damage with the aim of rapidly securing and stabilising these sites," it said.

The historic Gaziantep Castle built during the Roman Empire was also severely damaged after the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the southeastern provinces of Turkiye on Monday.
The historic Gaziantep Castle built during the Roman Empire was also severely damaged after the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the southeastern provinces of Turkiye on Monday. (AA)

1015 GMT - Quake could affect up to 23 million: WHO

Up to 23 million people could be affected by the massive earthquake that has killed thousands in Türkiye and Syria, the World Health Organization warned, as it promised long-term assistance to victims.

"Event overview maps show that potentially 23 million people are exposed, including around five million vulnerable populations," WHO senior emergencies officer Adelheid Marschang said.

"Civilian infrastructure and potentially health infrastructure have been damaged across the affected region, mainly in Türkiye and northwest Syria," she said.

The WHO "considers that the main unmet needs may be in Syria in the immediate and mid-term," Marschang told the WHO's executive committee in Geneva.

"It is now a race against time," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, explaining that the UN health agency was urgently sending aid to the area.

"We're mobilising emergency supplies and we have activated the WHO network of emergency medical teams to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable."

0955 GMT - Death toll in Türkiye climbs to 3,432

Death toll from Monday's powerful earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye climbs to 3,432, disaster agency says in statement.

0901 GMT - Turkish Vice President Oktay gives updates in aftermath of deadly quake

Türkiye's Vice President Fuat Oktay has held a news conference to provide updates on the government's latest efforts following the deadly earthquake that hit the country and neighbouring Syria.

According to Oktay, the death toll has now reached 3,419 with 20,534 others reported injured. Over 8,000 people have also been rescued.

He said that at least 312 aftershocks were felt and warned that seismic activities remain high.

Oktay said that 3,294 search and rescue personnel have arrived from 14 countries, and nine sniffers dogs have also been brought in to assist these teams.

"We're grateful for the immense international support," Oktay said of the relief response pouring in from all over the world.

0828 GMT - Diaspora Turks in the UK collect aid

The Union of Turkish Associations in the UK announced that volunteers have collected, sorted and packaged 10 tonnes of goods destined to Türkiye's disaster-hit areas.

Speaking in London, The Union of Turkish Associations Manager Erdal Yetimova said that necessary materials and winter products were collected. 

The 10 tonnes of aid will be delivered to Türkiye by Turkish Airlines planes by the end of the week.

Türkiye's London Ambassador Umit Yalcin said: "We are proud of our community that collected aid and donations within 5-6 hours." 

Yalcin added that the search and rescue team promised by England left Manchester for Adana last night.

0810 GMT - Football player found alive with injuries

Ghana international winger Christian Atsu has been found alive after being buried under rubble in the earthquake that hit Türkiye, the vice president of his club Hatayspor told media on Tuesday.

Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor, was reported missing in Türkiye's Hatay province following Monday's massive quake that brought down thousands of buildings, killing some 5,000 people, in several Turkish and Syrian cities.

"Christian Atsu was pulled out injured. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble," club vice president Mustafa Ozak told Radyo Gol.

Atsu, 31, played in the Premier League for Newcastle United and Everton, on loan from Chelsea, and joined Hatayspor in September. He was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019, but has not officially retired from international football.

Ozak had told BeIN Sports on Monday that several players and officials had been rescued from the rubble.


0803 GMT - Syria death toll rises to 1,602

Regime and rescue officials reported that at least 1,602 people were killed and over 2,400 others were wounded in the earthquake-hit region of Syria.

According to the regime-controlled media, at least 812 people were killed, while the White Helmets reported 790 people dead in opposition-controlled areas.

0749 GMT - China sends help to Türkiye and Syria

China has announced that it is sending rescue personnel and emergency aid for earthquake relief efforts in Türkiye and Syria.

“The Chinese government is providing emergency assistance to Türkiye and Syria with its first batch of 40 million yuan ($5.8 million) emergency aid headed for Türkiye,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter.

Beijing is sending “heavy urban search and rescue teams, medical teams, and urgently needed disaster relief supplies,” she added.

“China is coordinating urgently needed disaster relief supplies to be shipped to Syria and speeding up the delivery of ongoing food aid programs,” Hua said.

0749 GMT - Hatay port fire rages after quake

A large fire that broke out at a section of a port in an earthquake-stricken city in southeast Türkiye is raging for a second day.

Television images Tuesday showed thick black smoke rising from burning containers at Iskenderun Port on the Mediterranean Sea, in the city of Iskenderun. Reports said the fire was caused by containers that toppled over during the powerful earthquake that struck southeast Türkiye on Monday.

Türkiye’s Anadolu Agency said a Turkish Coast Guard vessel was assisting efforts to extinguish the fire.

0718 GMT - Türkiye quake death toll rises to 3,381

The death toll from Monday's earthquake and aftershocks that hit Türkiye has risen to 3,381 with 20,426 others injured in 10 provinces, according to the latest report from Türkiye's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

0535 GMT - AFAD says over 13,700 search and rescue personnel deployed to affected region

Türkiye's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has announced that it has deployed about 13,740 search and rescue personnel to the region affected by the earthquake.

In a tweet, AFAD also said 360 vehicles and 3,361 construction equipment were also dispatched to help in the rescue operation. 

  • 4 mobile social service centres, 1,322 personnel and 100 vehicles were sent to the region for psychosocial support.
  • Personnel and vehicle shipments continued uninterrupted throughout the night.
  • Red Crescent and NGOs distribute soup, hot food, rations, treats and food parcels to our citizens in the earthquake-affected areas.
  • 300,000 blankets, 41,504 family-size tents, 101,738 beds, 148,482 pillows and sheets, 4,602 kitchen sets, 3,761 heaters, 4,452 tube caps for heating, 557 containers and 747 of 112 square-metre tents were sent to the region.

0510 GMT - Australia, New Zealand announce humanitarian assistance for Türkiye, Syria

Australia and New Zealand have announced that they will provide millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance for the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

Addressing a joint news conference in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins extended their deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and communities that have lost loved ones.

"We have seen thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries through this tragedy," said Albanese.

"These multiple earthquakes that have hit the region are having a devastating impact, and today I can announce that the Australian government will provide an initial A$10 million ($6.94 million) in humanitarian assistance to those affected through our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners and through humanitarian agencies," he said.

Hipkins also announced that his country will contribute NZD$1.5 million ($948,007) and said his foreign minister will release more details.

"So our hearts are with them. New Zealand will also be contributing to the international effort," he said.

0450 GMT - Rescuers transfer injured victims to port city of Mersin

Rescue workers have taken injured victims from the province of Hatay to the southern port city of Mersin for treatment. 

The victims were taken on board the TCG Iskenderun ship early on Tuesday. 

One of the victims of Monday's earthquake taken by rescuers on board TCG Iskenderun early on Tuesday.
One of the victims of Monday's earthquake taken by rescuers on board TCG Iskenderun early on Tuesday. (AA)

0310 GMT - Pakistan dispatches 1st batch of rescue teams, relief goods to Türkiye

Pakistan has dispatched its first batch of rescue teams and relief goods to Türkiye for the victims.

A C-130 plane carrying a search and rescue team from the Pakistan Army took off from Chaklala Airbase in Rawalpindi late Monday, said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

A 50-member rescue team along with 25 tonnes of relief goods left for Türkiye through a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight Tuesday morning, the statement added.

Another C-130 plane carrying seven tonnes of relief goods including medicines, tents, blankets and other relief items will be flying to Istanbul from Pakistan’s northeastern city of Lahore later in the day. 

0250 GMT - India sends 1st consignment of relief material to earthquake-hit Türkiye

India has dispatched the first batch of earthquake relief material on an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft to Türkiye, an official said.

"The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Türkiye along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Search and Rescue Teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other necessary equipment," tweeted Arindam Bagchi, the spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs.

The Indian Air Force said an IAF C-17 aircraft left for Türkiye on Monday night. 

Earthquake survivors are trying to stay warm in the streets in Gaziantep after powerful quakes hit Türkiye's southeastern provinces. Photo from TRT World’s Ezgi Toper, who is currently in Gaziantep at the site of a collapsed building.
Earthquake survivors are trying to stay warm in the streets in Gaziantep after powerful quakes hit Türkiye's southeastern provinces. Photo from TRT World’s Ezgi Toper, who is currently in Gaziantep at the site of a collapsed building. (TRT World)

0021 GMT - South Korea's Yoon orders rescue workers, medical aid to quake-hit Türkiye

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol has issued an order to send rescue workers and emergency medical items to Türkiye, Yoon's office said, after an earthquake hit Türkiye and northwestern Syria.

"Yoon ordered related government agencies ... to come up with additional support measures in case needed by Türkiye," the presidential office said in a statement. 

0000 GMT – Seven-day national mourning in Türkiye

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning after the deadly quakes across the country's south.

In a tweet, Erdogan said the country has declared a week of mourning and will lower its flags to half-mast at home and at diplomatic missions across the world until February 12.

2302 GMT - Biden tells Erdogan US will 'provide any and all' aid for Türkiye quake victims

President Joe Biden promised his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the United States will send "any and all" aid needed to help recover from a devastating earthquake.

"He reaffirmed the readiness of the United States to provide any and all needed assistance to our NATO ally Türkiye in response to this tragedy," the White House said in a statement. "He noted that US teams are deploying quickly to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and coordinate other assistance."

2324 GMT - EuroLeague suspends games in Türkiye due to earthquakes

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague announced that it has decided to suspend several basketball games in Türkiye due to powerful earthquakes there that left thousands dead and injured and caused massive destruction.

The league said that regular season Round 24 games between Anadolu Efes and Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Beko and EA7 Emporio Armani Exchange Milan which were scheduled to be played on February 9 and 10, respectively, have been suspended following the Turkish government's cancellation of all sports competitions until further notice due to the earthquakes.

2308 GMT -Aid campaign launched in Berlin for quake-hit Türkiye

An aid campaign was launched in the German capital Berlin after two powerful earthquakes struck southeastern Türkiye. 

Organised by various Turkish non-governmental organisations in the city, volunteers began collecting materials and items such as diapers, clothing and blankets, which are urgently needed for those affected.

Aid materials brought to the Berlin Turkish Music Conservatory in Kreuzberg district will be delivered to the earthquake zone as soon as possible. 

For live updates from Monday (February 6), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies