More than 2,600 people were killed on Monday (February 6th) in southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria by a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed hours later by a very strong 7.5 magnitude aftershock - tremors recorded up to in Greenland.
The quake spawned scenes of desolation, with collapsed buildings numbering in the thousands.
The balance sheet, very provisional, continues to grow, with a very large number of people remaining trapped under the rubble.
The rain and snow, which fell in some places in abundance, and the expected drop in temperatures will make the situation of people who find themselves homeless, as well as the work of the relief workers, even more difficult.
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A gutted building in Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey.
SERTAC KAYAR / REUTERS
The first tremor occurred at 4:17 a.m. local time (2:17 a.m. in France), in the district of Pazarcik, in the province of Kahramanmaras (south-eastern Turkey), about 60 km as the crow flies from the Syrian border.
Dozens of aftershocks followed, before a new earthquake of magnitude 7.5, at 11:24 French time, still in southeastern Turkey, 4 km southeast of the town of Ekinozu.
Images of the earthquake in Turkey
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The balance sheet is still likely to evolve in the Turkish cities affected: Adana, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir in particular.
In Iskenderun and Adiyaman, public hospitals collapsed under the effect of the earthquake, which occurred at a depth of about 17.9 kilometers.
The heaviest damage was recorded near the epicenter of the night's quake, between Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, where entire city blocks lay in ruins, covered in snow.
The gas pipelines supplying the region have also been affected and the provinces of Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep are deprived of gas, said the public body Botas.
A girl rescued from Jandaris, Syria.
RAMI AL SAYED / AFP
This earthquake is the largest in Turkey since the earthquake of August 17, 1999, which caused the death of 17,000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.
Faced with this desolation, the inhabitants everywhere are mobilizing and trying to clear the ruins with their bare hands, using buckets to evacuate the debris.
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In Syria, the earthquake killed 851 people and injured at least 2,326, according to the latest reports from the Syrian Ministry of Health and rescuers in rebel areas.
Images of the earthquake in Syria
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In Hama (central-western Syria), rescuers and civilians extract by hand, helped by heavy machinery, the bodies of the victims under the rubble, including that of a child, noted AFP.
In Jandairis (north-western Syria), a devastated man mourns the death of his son, a very small boy wrapped in an anorak, whom he hugs.
More than forty homes collapsed like a house of cards in this border town of Turkey.
The inhabitants are trying to remove the survivors from the rubble with their bare hands or using pickaxes, due to a lack of human and material rescue resources.
In Jandaris, Syria.
BAKR ALKASEM / AFP
The tremors, felt throughout the south-east of the country, were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus, according to AFP correspondents, as well as in Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country in Erbil and Douk, but none victim was not reported.
Turkey is located on one of the most active seismic zones in the world.