A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday, killing three people, just weeks after a deadly quake devastated the region.
In Turkey and Syria, over 680 people have been injured.
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The tremor occurred at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT), according to Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency Afad, and was followed by dozens of aftershocks.
On February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the same area, killing over 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
Those killed in Monday’s earthquake were discovered in Antakya, Defne, and Samandagi, according to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who urged people not to enter potentially dangerous buildings.
Mr. Soylu stated that 213 people were injured in Turkey.
Witnesses told Reuters that buildings in Antakya had sustained additional damage, while the mayor of Hatay, in southern Turkey, said people were trapped under rubble.
“I thought the earth was going to split open beneath my feet,” Muna al-Omar, a local resident, told Reuters as she sobbed while holding her seven-year-old son. She said she was in a tent in a park in central Antakya when the latest earthquake struck.
Turkish authorities have recorded over 6,000 aftershocks since the earthquake on February 6, but the BBC’s team in the region said the most recent one felt much stronger than previous ones.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 470 people were injured in the quake, which was also felt in Egypt and Lebanon.
Afad reported 32 aftershocks in the aftermath of Monday’s tremor, the largest of which had a magnitude of 5.8.
There is fear and panic in the streets, with ambulances and rescue crews attempting to reach some of the most severely damaged areas, where the walls of severely damaged buildings have collapsed.
A number of structures that remained standing after the 6 February tremor have now collapsed, including a bridge. Many road cracks have grown into deep scars, making it more difficult for emergency services to get to where they are needed.
An AFP journalist described scenes of panic in Antakya, the capital of Hatay Province, which had already been devastated by the previous earthquake, with the latest tremors creating dust clouds in the city.
Building walls also collapsed, according to AFP, with several apparently injured people calling for help.
When the latest earthquake struck, Ali Mazlum said he was looking for the bodies of family members who died in the previous earthquake.
“You don’t know what to do… we grabbed each other and right in front of us, the walls started to fall. It felt like the earth was opening up to swallow us up,” he said.
Afad initially urged people to avoid coastlines as a precaution against rising sea levels in a tweet, but the warning was later removed.