Chilling videos have emerged of apartment buildings and malls collapsing in Turkey a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the country's south and northern Syria on Monday. In numerous social media posts, footage of collapsing buildings from Turkish cities can be seen alongside attempts to rescue trapped survivors.
The magnitude of the earthquake was such that Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, and even Lebanon felt its tremors. There have been reports of more than 360 deaths from seven different regions in Turkey, over 100 fatalities from Syria, with more casualties expected. Dozens of people are trapped under rubble, according to the "White Helmets" group, officially known as Syria Civil Defense.
On Monday, the earthquake struck before dawn, when most people were probably asleep and unprepared for the effects. Several collapsed buildings could be seen in a video from Turkey that was circulated on social media, and terrified locals were seen camped out on the darkened streets.
Rescue workers can be seen conducting search and rescue operations by flashlight.
The building falls like a pack of cards and with loud noise as rubble and dust engulf the surroundings.
Another video taken from a distance by a bystander shows a huge apartment building shaking vigorously before it comes down crumbling on the ground with a deafening sound. People on the other side of the road can be heard crying in panic as the building breaks into pieces.
Several other videos have emerged that show buildings shaking as the earthquake jolted Turkey.
Another video showed dozens of collapsed buildings, while frightened residents huddled on the darkened streets amid the chaos.
A number of videos have surfaced on social media that show structures collapsing, mosque chandeliers swaying with tremors, and supermarkets being destroyed.
A building crumbling following the earthquake can be seen in a video of the earthquake from Diyarbakir, Turkey. The eight-second video captures the exact moment the building is reduced to a heap of concrete and dust with a rattling thunder.
According to the USGS, Monday's earthquake is believed to be the largest to hit Turkey since 1939, when an earthquake of the same magnitude killed 30,000 people. Less than five earthquakes of this size strike the planet each year on average, making them extremely rare events. Turkey has seen seven earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher in the past 25 years, but Monday's was the most devastating.
According to Turkey's interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, search and rescue teams have been sent to the south of the nation. The European Union's humanitarian program, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), claimed that the disaster agency, AFAD, has asked for assistance from abroad.
According to its governor Ali, about a thousand search and rescue volunteers have been sent from Istanbul, Turkey's largest city.
According to Syria's state media, several buildings collapsed in the northern cities of Aleppo and Hama. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that "search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched" to the areas hit by the quake.
"I convey my best wishes to all our citizens who were affected by the earthquake. We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage," he tweeted.
According to reports, the earthquake struck the area around 04:17 local time with a depth of approximately 17.9 kilometers (11 miles), according to the US Geological Service. Residents flocked to the snowy streets as the earthquake was felt by people in Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus as well.
According to a witness who spoke to Reuters, the tremor lasted for a minute and even broke the windows. The area had a 6.7-magnitude aftershock after 15 minutes.
Photos and videos of people searching for survivors near the wrecked building in Kahramanmaras were shown on TRT and Haberturk.
Residents and rescue workers are desperately searching for survivors in the rubble of demolished buildings in numerous cities on both sides of the border.
In one of the Turkish cities affected by the earthquake, dozens of pieces of torn metal and concrete were taken away. People could be heard shouting at one other on the streets as they perched precariously inside the half-collapsed apartment building.
The earthquake near Kahramanmaras was rated as having a magnitude of 7.4 by Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).