Ankara: At least 17 people were killed on Monday after a strong earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck Turkey’s Gaziantep city near the country’s border with Syria, authorities said.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the temblor occurred at 4.17 a.m. at a depth of 17.9 km, the BBC reported.
Interior Minister Suleymon Soylu said 10 cities were affected: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adiyaman, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Adana, Diyarbakir and Kilis.
The tremor was also felt in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus.
The authorities have said that a number of buildings in Gaziantep have collapsed, and some people may be trapped.
Turkish seismologists said that a second tremor hit the region just minutes later.
Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.
In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed after a powerful tremor rocked the north-west of the country.
In a more recent quake, 117 people died when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Izmir on October 30, 2020.