An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 shook, Monday, February 6, the south of Turkey and Syria, causing the death of nearly two thousand people, according to a still provisional assessment, in the two countries and considerable damage. A few hours after this first earthquake, southeastern Turkey was hit by an aftershock of magnitude 7.5.
The earthquake caused scenes of panic in northern Syria, where residents rushed outside, on foot or by car, despite the torrential rains, as well as in neighboring Lebanon, where the tremors were strongly felt.
The European Union has sent rescue teams to Turkey. Germany, Italy and France offered their aid to the populations of the devastated regions, as did Belgium, Poland, Spain and Finland.
The earthquake occurred in the middle of the night, at 4:17 a.m. (2:17 a.m. Paris time), according to the American Seismological Institute USGS, at a depth of about 17.9 kilometers. The epicenter is located in the district of Pazarcik, in the province of Kahramanmaras (South-East), about 60 kilometers as the crow flies from the Syrian border. This earthquake is the largest in Turkey since the earthquake of August 17, 1999, which caused the death of 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.