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Turkey Declares Highest Level Emergency Following 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake

Turkey declared a level 4 emergency after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Turkey at 01:17 GMT on Monday (the highest level, which includes an international call for help). The tremor was 24 kilometres deep and originated about 27 kilometres northwest of Gaziantep.

Subsequent aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.7 and 5.6 have also been recorded.

According to the Governor of Turkey’s Osmaniye province, at least 34 buildings have collapsed in the area. Osmaniye is about 100 kilometres from Gaziantep and about 69 kilometres from the earthquake’s epicentre.

Millions of Syrian refugees are thought to be living near the earthquake’s epicentre. Turkey is home to approximately 3.5 million Syrian refugees, the world’s largest number. The UN maintains one of its most extensive refugee programmes in Gaziantep.

According to reports, the quake was also felt in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. It was also felt in Damascus and Latakia, Syria. Israelis in Tel Aviv also reported feeling the tremor. According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the quake was felt in Egypt, Georgia, and Romania.

As a result of the earthquake, a gas pipeline reportedly exploded in Hatay province, and a possible tsunami risk is being investigated.

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