A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck early this morning in south central Turkey, killing more than 1,700 people in Turkey and neighboring Syria, though the death toll is expected to keep rising. Dozens of powerful aftershocks followed, including a second, 7.5-magnitude earthquake in southeastern Turkey. The epicenter of the initial quake is near the city of Gaziantep, which houses hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and where the UNHCR runs one its largest operations. Both the government- and rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria reported heavy casualties. This is a survivor speaking from the Aleppo region.
Survivor: “There are 12 families trapped here, and no one managed to get out. They are all inside here. So far no one has come here to see where people are. There is no civil defense. We’ve been working with our hands since 3 a.m.”