Turkey before and after pictures show extent of utter devastation

Turkey: Multiple buildings reduced to rubble in Iskenderun

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In the early hours of Monday morning, a powerful earthquake rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria. Just as rescue efforts got underway, a second tremor struck the region causing further devastation. As Turkish president Recep Erdogan visits the disaster zone on Wednesday, and NGOs scour the rubble for survivors in rebel-held Syria, Express.co.uk has located the photos that best show the appalling magnitude of the quakes.

The first earthquake struck just after 4am local time and registered as 7.7 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was near the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to over two million people.

There had not been a major earthquake in the region for over 200 years, so preparedness for this sort of event was low. The high and rising death toll is also partially a result of timing, striking when almost all those affected were home in bed.

Less than 12 hours later, just after 1pm, a second magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit further north in Kahramanmaras province.

In the ensuing 48 hours, photos from across the region – from the historic southern city of Antakya (known to Western historians as Antioch) to the important Mediterranean port of Iskenderun to towns throughout rebel-held northern Syria – show just how strong and how far-reaching the earthquakes were.



Early on Tuesday, when the death toll was just over 3,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned fatality numbers could rise eight-fold.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the figure had soared well above 11,000. Turkey’s disaster management agency claims to have received reports of 11,342 collapsed buildings. Up to 300,000 people in Syria alone are though to have been displaced.

Satelite imagery of the town of Islahiye shows a number of tall buildings collapsed and many roofs slipped off houses and into the street.

To avert the risk of explosions, gas supplies to the region have been cut, leaving many without heating as snow falls on the rubble.

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As makeshift camps are assembled by rescue crews, the official response to the disaster has been criticised for being too slow.

President Erdogan began a tour of the affected areas on Wednesday. Many families have said lacklustre rescue efforts have left them digging for family members alone.

During PMQs on Wednesday afternoon – following a visit from Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky in the morning – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “We will continue to provide all the support that is asked of us.”

The EU also confirmed it would send €3.5million (£3.1million) in aid to Syria, after the country activated the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to support areas struck by natural disaster. Turkey was similarly awarded €3million (£2.7million) on Monday.

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