Turkiye shaken by ‘biggest disaster’ since 1939 Erzincan earthquake



ANKARA, Türkiye has experienced the “biggest disaster” in the last century after the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a strong earthquake hit southern provinces on Monday morning, claiming the lives of at least 912 people.

“Tonight at 04:17, we were shaken by the biggest disaster since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake that we underwent in the last century,” Erdogan said in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan’s remarks came after a 7.7 magnitude quake struck at 4.17 a.m. (0117GMT) and was centered in the Pazarcik district in Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras.

Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis provinces are heavily affected by the quake.

“So far, 912 of our citizens have lost their lives and 5,385 of our citizens have been injured,” Erdogan said. He noted that the number of people rescued from the rubble has reached 2,470, and the number of buildings that collapsed is 2,818.

Currently, Erdogan said, a total of 9,000 personnel are carrying out search and rescue operations, Erdogan said, adding: “This number is constantly increasing with those who reach the region from outside.”

“We have started to be contacted for international aid. Besides offers of assistance by NATO and the EU, 45 countries have reached out to us,” he added.