More than 560 people have reportedly died after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 Richter scale struck southeast Turkey on Monday, bringing down a number of structures. Tremors were felt in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, and other Turkish cities besides Syria and Lebanon. Hundreds of people are also trapped under the rubble, while hundreds more are feared dead.
Amid the panic and chaos, some have been live streaming and are actively seeking help while buried beneath the rubble. Rescue teams can be seen sifting through the wreckage of numerous destroyed buildings in a number of social media images and videos as several individuals are suspected to be trapped beneath the debris.
Crying for Help
In one of the videos, a young man wearing a hoodie can be seen trapped beneath what appears to be a broken and damaged building. As he live-streamed, the man is seen crying for help. His voice is shivering and he is giving an update on the situation and saying that he can't see anything as it's completely dark and is having difficulty breathing.
Another video shows an elderly woman live streaming from inside a broken building. She can be seen trapped under a concrete chunk and is barely able to breathe. The woman appears to have suffered major injuries and also cannot open her eyes as she asks for help.
A few meters away another person is heard crying in pain. However, there seems to be no one to help them as they remain trapped beneath the debris.
Rescue workers are struggling to pull out bodies from the debris.
Local authorities reported that the earthquake in Turkey has claimed 560 lives. In the meantime, the state media reported that 42 people perished in government-controlled areas of Syria as a result of the earthquake, which caused several structures to collapse.
"Forty-two deaths and 200 injuries have been reported in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia as a result of the earthquake in a preliminary toll," stated state news agency SANA, quoting a health ministry official.
Fighting for Their Lives
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).