LIVE – Updated at 05:17
Dozens reportedly trapped under rubble after a powerful quake struck south-eastern Turkey around 4am local time on Monday, with tremors felt in Lebanon and Cyprus.
Authorities in Italy have warned of a potential tsunami risk on the country’s coast.
Officials called on citizens in coastal areas to move to higher areas and wait for more information from local authorities.
The European-Mediterranean seismological centre’s monitoring service told Reuters it was assessing the risk of a tsunami.
A statement released this morning read:
Based on the data processed by the Ingv Tsunami Alert Center (CAT), the Civil Protection Department has issued an alert for possible tsunami waves arriving on the Italian coast following the earthquake of magnitude 7.9 with its epicenter between Turkey and Syria at 02.17.
It is recommended to move away from the coastal areas, to reach the higher nearby area and to follow the indications of the local authorities.”
More than 100 dead in Turkey and Syria
It’s just past 8am in Gaziantep, Turkey, as we receive more information on the total number of deaths cause by a powerful earthquake this morning.
Turkey’s disaster management agency AFAD said on Monday that 76 people had been killed and 440 injured in the massive earthquake that reverberated through several provinces in the south of the country.
“76 of our citizens lost their lives in Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, and 440 citizens were injured in Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis,” AFAD said.
At least 50 people have died in neighbouring Syria.
Forty-two people were killed in government-controlled parts of the country, state media said, while a local hospital told AFP that eight others were killed in northern areas controlled by pro-Turkish factions.
“Forty-two deaths and 200 injuries have been reported in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia as a result of the earthquake in a preliminary toll,” state news agency Sana said quoting a health ministry official.
Rescuers are continuing the search the rubble of collapsed buildings as the death toll is expected to rise.
76 killed and 440 injured: Turkey’s disaster agency
As the death toll continues to climb, the latest figures released by Turkey’s disaster agency (AFAD) say 76 people have so far been killed while another 440 have been injured.
76 of our citizens lost their lives in Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, and 440 citizens were injured in Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis,” AFAD said.
A total of 42 aftershocks have been felt in the two hours since the quake first struck at 4.17 am local time, according to Turkey’s ministry of interior disaster and emergency management.
The ministry issued a statement, saying:
As of 6:30am, a total of 42 aftershocks, the largest of which was 6.6, were experienced.”
It’s almost 8am in Turkey, and the morning light has brought scenes of chaos.
A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing dozens, levelling buildings and sending tremors that were felt as far away as the island of Cyprus.
At least 10 cities across Turkey have been badly affected, including Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis, according to Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency.
South across the border in Syria, Aleppo, Hama and Latakia have also been hard hit as a result of the earthquake.
Scores dead in Turkey and Syria
Several hours after the earthquake as rescue teams rush to find people affected, the scale of destruction is slowly beginning to take shape.
Local officials in Turkey put the initial death toll at 53, although it threatened to climb substantially higher because it caught most people while they were still at home asleep and many may still be trapped under fallen buildings.
Early statements by officials suggested the death toll was at least 23 in Turkey’s Malatya province, 17 in Sanliurfa, six in Diyarbakir and five more in Osmaniye.
South across the border in Syria, state media said 42 had been killed and 200 injured in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia as a result of the earthquake “in a preliminary toll,” state news agency Sana said quoting a health ministry official.
The earthquake has levelled dozens of buildings across major cities of southern Turkey as well as Syria with tremors felt as far away as Ankara and the island of Cyprus.
The situation in northern Syria appears to be particularly dire, according to local authorities.
Major damage has so far been reported deep into the region on the Syrian side of the border, an area that includes millions of people already internally displaced by war in areas with fragile infrastructure.
At least 11 were killed in one town, Atmed, and many more were buried in the rubble, a doctor in the town, Muheeb Qaddour, told The Associated Press by telephone.
We fear that the deaths are in the hundreds,” Qaddour said, referring to the rebel-held northwest. “We are under extreme pressure.”
23 killed and 420 injured in Malatya: governor
We are receiving some more information from Malatya, a city in eastern Turkey hit by today’s earthquake.
According to the regional governor, and as cited by Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, 23 people have been killed in the city, another 420 injured and 140 buildings collapsed.
Images from inside Syria show fallen buildings and rescue attempts:
Members of the Syrian civil defence operating in rebel-held areas are claiming “tens of victims and people stuck under rubble” in northern Syria on Monday.
The civil defence, known as the White Helmets, said in a post on Twitter that the volunteer group was working to rescue survivors.
Dozens of victims and trapped under the rubble as a result of the earthquakes that struck northwest Syria at dawn today.”
At least eight dead in north Syria: hospital reports
At least eight people have died in north Syria, according to a hospital in the region.
“Eight people have died in the regions of Azaz and al-Bab,” a source at a local hospital told Agence France-Presse, adding that the number is likely to rise as search and rescue operations are ongoing.
Major damage has been reported deep into northern Syria, an area that includes millions of people already internally displaced by war in areas with fragile infrastructure.
Members of the Syrian civil defence, a search and rescue service known as the White Helmets, shared video from the town of Salqin in the northern province of Idlib close to the border with Turkey, saying they had begun work to rescue people trapped under collapsed buildings.
Disastrous conditions, collapses in residential buildings and some victims trapped under the rubble as a result of the earthquake that struck northwest Syria today. Our teams are on the highest levels of alert to respond and rescue those trapped,” they said.
15 killed, 30 injured in Sanliurfa province: governor
We are receiving some more information from Sanliurfa, the Turkish province east of Gaziantep where the quake’s epicentre was located.
Governor Salih Ayhan reported that at least 15 people were killed and another 30 injured in the province in an interview with Turkish broadcaster CNN Turk.
More images of fallen buildings and wreckage are coming in, as dawn is breaking:
Turkish interior minister Suleymon Soylu says 10 cities have been affected by the quake.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the official said the cities of Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis had all suffered damage.
Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency said the earthquake was felt most intensely in the surrounding provinces of Kahramanmaraş, but was also strongly felt in Hatay, Adana, Osmaniye, Diyarbakır, Malatya and Şanlıurfa.
In Sanliurfa, the Turkish province east of Gaziantep where the quake’s epicentre was located, the effects were “severe and long-lasting” according to officials.
Governor Salih Ayhan urged citizens not to panic in a Twitter post early on Monday morning.
Some images are dropping from inside Turkey and Syria showing large-scale destruction:
At least 15 dead – reports
New information from Agence France-Presse claims the death toll has increased to at least 15 people, with the number expected to climb much higher.
Locals officials said five people died in the province of Osmaniye and 10 more in Sanliurfa, which sits near Turkey’s border with Syria.
Concern for millions of Syrian refugees at epicentre of quake
The epicentre of the quake is home to millions of Syrian refugees living in Turkey outside the city of Gaziantep.
Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, 3.5 million Syrians, according to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, which runs one of its largest operations from Gaziantep.
Many live in tents and makeshift structures.
In northwest Syria, the opposition’s Syrian civil defence described the situation in the rebel-held region as “disastrous” adding that entire buildings have collapsed and people are trapped under the rubble. The civil defence urged people to evacuate buildings to gather in open areas.
What we know so far
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the earthquake that hit Turkey early on Monday. I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments as they unfold.
If you have just joined us, here is what we know so far:
A strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey early on Monday and was felt across the border in Lebanon and Syria.
The quake struck at 4.17 am local time (0117 GMT). It was centred about 32km (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital in the country’s south-east, and about 26km (16 miles) from the town of Nurdağı.
It was 17.7km (11 miles) deep, according to the US Geological Survey. A strong 6.7 temblor rumbled about 10 minutes later.
There were reports of tremors felt in Lebanon, Greece, Syria, Israel and Cyprus.
Videos posted on social networks showed destroyed buildings in several cities in the south-east of the country.
Videos posted on social networks show the moment multiple apartment buildings collapsed in southern Turkey.
A BBC Turkish correspondent in Diyarbakir reports that a shopping mall in the city collapsed.
Rushdi Abualouf, a BBC producer in the Gaza Strip, said there was about 45 seconds of shaking in the house he was staying in.
Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.
The country sits atop the Anatolian Plate, a block of the Earth’s crust that is slowly rotating counterclockwise and shifting west with time, moving about an inch every year. Collisions with the African plate and Eurasian plate can result in frequent earthquakes.
Düzce was one of the regions hit by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999 – the worst to hit Turkey in decades. That quake killed more than 17,000 people, including about 1,000 in Istanbul.
Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate Istanbul, which has allowed widespread building without safety precautions.
A magnitude-6.8 quake hit Elazığ in January 2020, killing more than 40 people. And in October that year, a magnitude 7.0 quake hit the Aegean Sea, killing 114 people and wounding more than 1,000.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has tweeted his “best wishes” to citizens affected by the earthquake which was “felt in many parts of our country”.
“Our search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the areas affected,” he wrote.
At least 10 killed, dozens trapped under rubble
At least 10 people have been killed in Turkey after an earthquake shook the country’s south and also northern Syria, two local Turkish officials said.
Five people died in Turkey’s Osmaniye province, its regional governor, said adding that 34 buildings had collapsed.
The mayor of Turkey’s Sanliurfa said another five people died and 16 buildings in the region collapsed.