More than 1,500 dead as powerful quake hits southern Turkey and Syria

More than 1,500 people have died and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from beneath the rubble after a devastating earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria, leaving destruction and debris on each side of the border.

One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in a century shook residents from their beds at around 4 a.m. on Monday, sending tremors as far away as Lebanon and Israel.

The epicenter of the 7.8-magnitude quake was 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Around nine hours later, a major aftershock that measured 7.5 in magnitude struck in Turkey, according to the USGS. That shock hit around 95 kilometers (59 miles) north of the original quake.

Video from the scene in Turkey showed day breaking over rows of collapsed buildings, some with apartments exposed to the elements as people huddled in the freezing cold beside them, waiting for help.

In Turkey, at least 912 people have died and 5,385 are injured, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised address Monday. In neighboring Syria, at least 592 people have died, including 371 mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus, according to Syrian state news agency SANA, which also reported 1,089 injuries.

Courtesy CNN